Jarvis felt unwell and dizzy one Sunday while playing football. At first he was treated for an ...
Brain and spinal tumours (otherwise known as Central Nervous System or CNS tumours) arise from different types of cells in the brain and are classified according to the cell type and area of the CNS in which they began. Most CNS tumours start in glial cells – the supporting cells of the brain. These tumours are known as gliomas and include astrocytomas, ependymomas and oligodendrogliomas.
Another group of tumours arise from embryonal cells. These tumours include medulloblastoma and PNET (primitive neuro-ectodermal tumour). Altogether there are more than 100 different types of brain tumour, most of which are very rare.
Tumours classified as low grade (benign) are very slow growing and remain in the part of the brain in which they started. High grade (malignant) brain tumours are likely to be more aggressive and to spread into the brain tissue which surrounds them. This can cause pressure and damage to the surrounding areas.
There are around 412 cases of Brain, other CNS and Intracranial Tumours in children in Great Britain each year. They form the second most common group of cancers in children (most common solid tumours), accounting for a more than a quarter (26%) of all childhood cancers in Great Britain.
In children in Great Britain, the largest subgroup is astrocytoma and these constitute over two-fifths (43% or 177 cases per year) of all brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours in children. Around three-quarters (76%) of astrocytomas are diagnosed as low grade and 15% as high grade.
The second most frequent subgroup is the intracranial and intraspinal embryonal tumours, which account for around a fifth (19% or 78 cases per year in Great Britain) of all childhood brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours. Most of this subgroup are primitive neuroectodermal tumours (PNETs), with nearly three-quarters (73% or 57 cases in GB) being medulloblastoma. PNETs occur most frequently in younger children and incidence decreases with age.
Ten per cent of childhood brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours are defined as ependymoma and choroid plexus tumours; incidence is highest in one-year-olds in this subgroup.
The 5-year survival in England for Brain and spinal tumours in children is 73%. For young adults, the 5-year survival in UK for Brain, other CNS & Intracranial Tumours is 79.9%
In children in Great Britain, low grade astrocytoma constitutes 33% of all brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours and has a survival rate of 95%.
Ependymoma has five-year survival of more than 80% for children in England whilst for medulloblastoma, it is more than 60%. Malignant Brain, other CNS and Intracranial Tumours cause 34% of childhood cancer deaths in the UK.
Ependymoma has five-year survival of 71%, medulloblastoma 64% and PNETs just 36%.
CNS tumours claim the lives of 100 children a year in the UK, one-third of all childhood cancer deaths.Back to top