Brain tumours

Brain tumours arise from the normal constituents of the brain and its coverings (meninges). Spinal tumours are considered separately. 


As a general rule, brain tumours increase in frequency with age, with individual exceptions (e.g. pilocytic astrocytoma, the vast majority of which are found in young patients), and a number of uncommon tumours found in infancy (see brain tumours of infancy). There are few gender differences, except that as a general rule, gliomas are more frequent in men and meningiomas are more frequent in women.


There are numerous individual tumour entities which come under the umbrella term "brain tumour" (see WHO Classification of CNS tumours). They can broadly be divided into:

* N.B. figures vary widely depending on the study (figures quoted are mostly from AH Kaye 3).

Another set of figures to ponder 5:

  • overall incidence: 5-13 cases per 100,000
  • incidence in children: 2-4 cases per 100,000
  • 80% of all intracranial tumours are supratentorial
  • 40% are metastases
  • 70% of tumours in 1-year-olds to adolescents are in the posterior fossa
  • of supratentorial tumours
    • 50% are supratentorial
    • 30% are astrocytomas
    • 6% are gangliogliomas
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Article information

rID: 4986
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Intracranial tumours
  • Brain tumors
  • Intracranial tumour
  • Adult brain tumours
  • Intracranial tumors
  • Intracranial neoplasms
  • Brain tumours in adults
  • Brain tumours in adulthood
  • Brain tumurs in adulthood
  • Intracranial neoplasm

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Cases and figures

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    Figure 1: brain tumour incidence
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    Case 1: pituitary macroadenoma
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    Figure 2: brain tumour frequency
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    Case 2: acoustic schwannoma
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    Case 3: pineal tumour
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    Case 4: medulloblastoma
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    Case 5: cerebral Metastasis
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    Case 6: glioblastoma multiforme
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