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Brain Cancer

02:27 EST 20th November 2017 | BioPortfolio

According to the American Brain Tumor Association, just over 24,000 patients will be diagnosed with a primary malignant brain tumour during 2012 in the US alone. Some 80% of primary malignant brain tumours are gliomas, a broad term which includes all tumours arising from the supportive tissue of the brain. Secondary brain cancers arise when cancer in other tissues spreads (metastasises) to the brain: an estimated 98,000—170,000 cases occur each year in the US, with metastases to the brain seen in 24-45% of all cancer patients.

There are two main types of brain cancer:

Brain tumors can be benign, with no cancer cells, or malignant, with cancer cells that grow quickly.

Types of malignant tumours

Most malignant brain tumours develop from the glial tissue, which supports the brain's nerve cells. These tumours are known as gliomas.
Gliomas can be separated further, depending on the cells they developed from. For example:

  • an astrocytoma develops from cells thought to provide the brain's framework
  • an oligodendroglioma develops from the cells that produce the fatty covering of nerves
  • an ependymoma develops from the cells that line the cavities in the brain

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