Brain Cancer Awareness 2020 - Artist: Nichole Nordeman

Brain tumors do not discriminate. They can affect us ALL!  Our goal is to raise awareness and provide much needed assistance to patients and caregivers.

We cannot do it alone!  We need your help!

Music by Nichole Nordeman.  Video created by Sarah Trask. 

Brain Tumor Facts - May 2020


May 1

An estimated 700,000 Americans are living with a tumor

  • 69.8% tumors are benign
  • 30.2% tumors are malignant

National Brain Tumor Society

May 2

An estimated 87,240 people will receive a primary brain tumor diagnosis in 2020

  • 61,430 will be benign
  • 25,800 will be malignant

National Brain Tumor Society

May 3

The average survival rate for all malignant brain tumor patients is only 36%

  • For the most common form of primary malignant brain tumors, glioblastoma, the five-year relative survival rate is only 6.8% 

National Brain Tumor Society

May 4

An estimated 18,020 people will die from malignant brain tumors (brain cancer) in 2020 

National Brain Tumor Society

May 5

Brain tumors are the most common solid cancer in persons age 0-14 years, as well as when expanded to ages 0-19 years.  

National Brain Tumor Society

May 6

Pediatric brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related death among children and adolescents ages 0-14 years, as well when expanded to ages 0-19 years, surpassing leukemia.
National Brain Tumor Society

May 7

More than any other cancer, brain tumors can have lasting and life-altering physical, cognitive, and psychological impacts on a patient’s life.
National Brain Tumor Society

May 8

Brain tumors are the third leading cause of cancer-related death overall in this age (15-39) group

  • Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related death in males aged 20-39 and the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death in females in this age group.

National Brain Tumor Society

May 9

Brain tumors represent the highest per-patient initial cost of care for any cancer group, with an annualized mean net cost of care approaching $150,000; and the highest annualized mean net costs for last-year-of-life care, relative to other cancers, at $135,000 to $210,000 (depending on age and gender) per patient 

National Brain Tumor Society

May 10

Despite the number of brain tumors, and their devastating prognosis, there are only five FDA approved drugs – and one device – to treat brain tumors. For many tumor types, surgery and radiation remain the standard of care.

National Brain Tumor Society 

May 11

There has never been a drug developed and approved specifically for malignant pediatric brain tumors

National Brain Tumor Society 

May 12

The five approved drugs for brain tumors have provided only incremental improvements to patient survival, and mortality rates remain little changed over the past 30 years .

National Brain Tumor Society 


May 13

A BRAIN TUMOR is an abnormal growth of tissue in the brain or central spine that can disrupt proper brain function. Doctors refer to a tumor based on where the tumor cells originated, and whether they are cancerous (malignant) or not (benign).

  • Benign: The least aggressive type of brain tumor is often called a benign brain tumor. They originate from cells within or surrounding the brain, do not contain cancer cells, grow slowly, and typically have clear borders that do not spread into other tissue.
  • Malignant: Malignant brain tumors contain cancer cells and often do not have clear borders. They are considered to be life threatening because they grow rapidly and invade surrounding brain tissue.
  • Primary: Tumors that start in cells of the brain are called primary brain tumors. Primary brain tumors may spread to other parts of the brain or to the spine, but rarely to other organs.
  • Metastatic: Metastatic or secondary brain tumors begin in another part of the body and then spread to the brain. These tumors are more common than primary brain tumors and are named by the location in which they begin

National Brain Tumor Society

May 14

Brain tumors can cause both physical and mental symptoms. The symptoms can differ depending on the type, location, and stage of the tumor.

Some symptoms can be quite general. These include headaches, vision problems, and mood changes. Seizures and personality changes can also signal the presence of a brain tumor.

If a person notices any early symptoms of a brain tumor, they should speak to their doctor for a thorough diagnosis. Early diagnosis and treatment can lead to better outcomes.


May 15

Most people diagnosed with a primary brain tumor do not have any known risk factors. However, certain risk factors and genetic conditions have been shown to increase a person’s chances of developing one, including:

  • The risk of a brain tumor increases as you age.
  • People who have been exposed to ionizing radiation—such as radiation therapy used to treat cancer and radiation exposure caused by atomic bombs– have an increased risk of brain tumor. 
  • Rare genetic disorders like Von Hippel-Lindau disease, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and Neurofibromatosis (NF1 and NF2) may raise the risk of developing certain types of brain tumors. Otherwise, there is little evidence that brain cancer runs in families. 

 National Foundation for Cancer Research

May 16

 The average survival rate for all malignant brain tumor patients is only 36%

  • Survival rates vary by age and tumor type, generally decreasing with age
  • For non-malignant brain tumor patients, the average five-year survival rate in 91.5%, with pilocytic astrocytomas the highest at 94.4%
  • For the most common form of primary malignant brain tumors, glioblastoma, the five-year relative survival rate is only 6.8%

National Brain Tumor Society

May 17

A primary malignant brain tumor is a rare type of cancer accounting for only about 1.4% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.  The most common brain tumors are known as secondary tumors, meaning they have metastasized, or spread, to the brain from other parts of the body such as the lungs, breasts, colon or prostate.
National Foundation For Cancer Research

May 18

On May 9, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) published an official reclassification of Tumor Types of the Central Nervous System, which has moved the greater neuro-oncology field toward a more precise and accurate system of brain tumor classification. Based on information from expert neuropathologists and neuro-oncologists, the result of the updated WHO classifications, which integrate molecular information with histology, is that doctors will be better able to more accurately diagnose, make prognoses, plan treatment, and predict therapeutic response for patients. A more precise diagnosis and treatment plan is a win for patients.

The National Brain Tumor Society 

May 19

Types of Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Children

How serious a brain or spinal cord tumor is in a child depends on its grade. The grade (I to IV) is based on what the tumor cells look like under a microscope. Grade I is the least serious and grade IV is the most serious. Low-grade tumors (I or II) tend to grow slowly. High-grade tumors (III or IV) are malignant, with fast growth and spread into normal brain tissue.

The most common types of brain and spinal cord tumors in children are medulloblastomas and gliomas, which include:

John Hopkins Medicine

May 20

Meningiomas are the most common kind of brain tumor — accounting for about 30 percent of all brain tumors — and most are treatable. In fact, the majority of these tumors can be removed surgically, and many do not return.

How do meningiomas differ from other brain tumors?

Meningiomas arise from the layers of membrane that cover the brain and spinal cord, not from the brain tissue itself. Some 90 percent of meningiomas are benign — that is, they are not likely to spread throughout the body — and they tend to grow slowly over months or even years.

However, meningiomas can become quite large, and crowd the brain and other structures inside the skull.

John Hopkins Medicine

May 21

What is GBM?

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the deadliest type of brain cancer, accounting for 45% of all malignant brain tumors. In the United States alone, over 12,000 new cases per year are detected. The disease has long been universally fatal and without cure, with a median survival rate after diagnosis of one to two years and killing 95% of patients within five years.

National Foundation for Cancer Research

May 22


A medulloblastoma is a malignant pediatric brain tumor that arises in the cerebellum, a part of the brain located at the base of the skull.


  • The tumor is the most common malignant brain tumor in children; it commonly strikes children between 5 and 9 years of age and is rare in people over 30.
  • Outcomes are better when the medulloblastoma appears in children older than five years and when the tumor is diagnosed early.
  • Treatment includes surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
  • Up to 75 percent of children treated with all three methods survive into adulthood.

 John Hopkins Medicine 

May 23

What is DIPG?

Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a brain tumor found in a part of the brain stem called the pons. The pons controls essential bodily functions such as heartbeat, breathing, swallowing, eye movement, eyesight, and balance.

DIPG affects children almost exclusively. Approximately 200-400 children in the United States are diagnosed with DIPG each year. These children are typically between the ages of 4 and 11. DIPG accounts for roughly 10-15% of all brain tumors in children.

DIPG is an aggressive tumor that interferes with all bodily functions, depriving a child of the ability to move, to communicate, and even to eat and drink.

As a DIPG tumor begins to grow, it puts pressure on the nerves that control the essential bodily functions regulated by the pons. Children with DIPG commonly experience double vision, reduced eye movement, facial weakness or asymmetry, and arm and leg weakness. They also have problems with walking, coordination, speech, chewing, and swallowing. As the tumor progresses, it also interferes with breathing and heartbeat, which ultimately results in the child’s death.

Michael Mosier Foundation Defeat DIPG

May 24


Malignant brain tumors cause an average of 20 Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL) for individuals diagnosed as adults, which exceeds most common cancers. Among children ages 0-19 years, brain tumors represent the largest cause of YPLL due to cancer, with a mean YPLL of approximately 80 years.

National Brain Tumor Society 


May 25

How Many People Survive 5 Years or More after Being Diagnosed with Brain and Other Nervous System Cancer?

5-Year Relative Survival - 32.6%

Relative survival statistics compare the survival of patients diagnosed with cancer with the survival of people in the general population who are the same age, race, and sex and who have not been diagnosed with cancer. Because survival statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. No two patients are entirely alike, and treatment and responses to treatment can vary greatly.

National Cancer Institute