Central Nervous System Tumours

Source | Cancer.Net

Updated on CancerPort | 20 Jan 2017 | This extract has been reproduced on CancerPort as published on the Cancer.Net's website and remains the property of the original source.

A central nervous system (CNS) tumor begins when healthy cells in the brain or the spinal cord change and grow uncontrollably, forming a mass. A tumor can be cancerous or benign. A cancerous tumor is malignant, meaning it can grow and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor means the tumor can grow but will not spread.

A CNS tumor is especially problematic because a person’s thought processes and movements can be affected. This type of tumor also may be challenging to treat because the tissues around the tumor may be vital to the body’s functioning.

The brain is the center of thought, memory, and emotion. It controls the five senses, which include smell, touch, taste, hearing, and sight. It also controls movement and other basic functions of the body, including heartbeat, circulation, and breathing. The spinal cord consists of nerves that carry information back and forth between the body and the brain.

Types of CNS tumors

There are many different types of CNS tumors. Some are cancerous and very likely to grow and spread. These are often called very aggressive or high grade. Other types are less aggressive, often called low grade, and others are noncancerous and are not likely to grow and spread. The following types of CNS tumors are most common among children:

  • Astrocytoma
  • Brain stem glioma
  • Ependymoma
  • Germ cell tumor
  • Medulloblastoma
Click here for more information about Central Nervous System Tumours 
Click here to read about the anatomy of the brain
Download ASCO Answers on Central Nervous System Tumours
Watch the Cancer.Net Introductory Childhood Cancer Video | 06:11
Watch the Cancer.Net Brain Tumor - An Introduction Video | 07:40

Reference: Cancer.Net (July 2016) Central Nervous System Tumours (Online) http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/central-nervous-system-tumors-childhood (Accessed 20 Jan 2017)

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