Joined: 02 September 2006
Brain tumors are not common in teens. There are two types - primary brain tumors start from cells in the brain and secondary brain tumors come from a cancer that started in another part of the body (e.g., osteosarcoma) and spread to the brain.
Most brain tumors in teens are primary. Two of the most common forms are astrocytomas (pronounced: as-truh-sye-toe-muhz) and ependymomas (pronounced: ep-en-duh-moe-muhz). Astrocytomas are tumors of the brain that originate from cells in the brain called astrocytes. This type of tumor doesn't usually spread outside the brain and spinal cord and doesn't usually affect other organs. Ependymomas are tumors that usually begin in the lining of brain ventricles. The brain has four ventricles, or cavities, that are a pathway for cerebrospinal fluid, a liquid substance that cushions the brain and spine and protects them from trauma.
No one knows the exact cause of primary brain cancer. One possibility is that as the brain and spinal cord were forming, a problem with the cells occurred.
Treatments vary depending upon the type and location of the tumor. If it is possible to remove a tumor, surgery is usually performed, followed by radiation. Some patients receive chemotherapy as well.
The chance of surviving a brain tumor depends on its type, location, and treatment. But there is a very good chance that if the tumor can be removed and additional treatment is given, the cancer can be cured.
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