Childhood Cancer

Childhood Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors

Chapter 3: Types of Tumors

Fresh activity is the only means of overcoming adversity.

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

TUMORS IN THE BRAIN OR SPINAL CORD (also called central nervous system tumors) account for 25 percent of all childhood cancers and are the second most common cancer in children. Symptoms vary depending on the location of the primary tumor. Tumors in the brain and spinal cord may exist for long periods with no growth, or they can dramatically increase in size in just a few days. Recent advances in diagnosis and treatment have improved the long-term survival rates for many children with brain or spinal cord tumors.

This chapter begins with a discussion of the causes of brain tumors. It then describes the many types of brain and spinal cord tumors, including their typical location, rate of growth, and treatment. It ends with a brief overview of the most commonly used treatments for brain and spinal cord tumors.