Betreff: Brain Tumor Statistics: Now (as of 2002) Leading Cause of Death in Children Surpassing Leukemia
Von: Paul Doyon
Datum: Mon, 28 May 2007 00:25:27 +0800

Facts about Brain Tumors

  • Each year more than 200,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a primary or metastatic brain tumor.  Primary brain tumors comprise approximately 40,000 of these diagnoses.(1)   
  • Brain tumors are the leading cause of solid tumor cancer death in children under the age of 20, now surpassing acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).  They are the second leading cause of cancer death in male adults ages 20-29 and the fifth leading cause of cancer death in female adults ages 20-39. (2,5) 
  • Metastatic brain tumors, cancer that spreads from other parts of the body to the brain, are the most common types of brain tumors.  They occur in 10-15% of people with cancer.  Primary brain tumors generally do not metastasize to other parts of the body. (3)
  • There are over 120 different types of brain tumors, which make effective treatment complicated.  They can be malignant or non-malignant (benign), and in either case, can be just as injurious or life threatening.  At present, the standard treatments for brain tumors include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.  These may be used either individually or in combination.     
  • Brain tumors in children are different from those in adults, and consequently, are treated differently.  As many as 69% of children will survive, but they are often left with long-term side effects.(5)
  • There are currently no known causes of brain tumors, however, epidemiological studies are ongoing.  Complete and accurate data on all primary brain tumors is needed to provide the foundation for investigations of its causes and research leading to improved diagnosis and treatment.
  • Brain tumors have no socio-economic boundaries and do not discriminate among gender or ethnicity.
  • At this time, brain tumor research is underfunded and the public remains unaware of the magnitude of this disease.  The cure rate for most brain tumors is significantly lower than that for many other types of cancer. 
  • The Brain Tumor Society is driven by these facts and remains committed to our mission to find a cure for brain tumors. We improve the quality of life for those already affected by a brain tumor diagnosis, by providing information and support, and we fund carefully-selected research proejcts to enhance treatments and to find a cure.

Brain Tumor Statistics

  • Brain tumors are the leading cause of death from childhood cancers among persons up to 19 years old (1)
  • 3,200 new childhood primary malignant and non malignant and central nervous systems tumors are expected to be diagnosed in 2004. Of those, 2,450 will be in children under the age of 15 (2)
  • In 2004 it is anticipated that there will be 12.690 deaths due to primary malignant brain tumors (3)
  • Brain tumors are the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in males ages 20-39
  • Brain tumors are the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women ages 20-39
  • 359,000 is the estimated number of people living with a diagnosis of a brain tumor in the United States in the year 2000
  • Brain tumors affect people from all walks of life. They do not care what color your skin is, how old you are, or how much money you made last year
  • Five year survival rates are a mere 27.9% in males and 30.1% in females (4)
  • The ten year survival rate is even more shocking

The answer to that is possibly!

The number of metastatic brain tumors is increasing largely due to the improvement in treating systemic cancer. Cancer patients are living longer which allows a greater opportunity for stray cancer cells to find their way to the brain.

A recent article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (Greig, N, Ries, L. "Increasing Annual Incidence of Primary Malignant Brain Tumors in the Elderly." Journal of the National Cancer Institute 82: 1621-1623, 1990) compared the incidence rates in 1973 and 1985 and concluded that there was an increase in the number of primary brain tumors diagnosed, especially in the elderly.

That article raises some very interesting, but unanswered questions.

1. Is the reported increase "real" or it is due to better diagnostic methods? The use of scans has made the diagnosis of brain tumors relatively easy. The CT became available in the mid '70s, and the MRI in the early '80s. It is therefore possible that earlier incidence figures were grossly under-reported because of failure to diagnose.

2. More awareness of the prevalence of this disease by physicians, and more informed medical consumerism may also have affected the statistics during the interval studied.

3. Much more research is needed before the questions of increased incidence can be answered.

4. In order to know if numbers are increasing, we must first know what they were in the past. Unfortunately, that information isn't available. The numbers that are available are obtained from National Cancer Institute (NCI) studies of the incidence of primary malignant brain tumors in selected geographic areas throughout the United States. It is not known, therefore, if the incidence of benign and metastatic tumors is also increasing.
Are the numbers on the rise?

Yes. From 1980 to 2000, there was an increase of nearly 50% in the estimated number of new cases of Malignant Brain/Central Nervous System tumors in the United States. (2)
Firstly, they analysed the cancer statistics gathered by the U.S. National Cancer Institute from catchment areas representing approximately 10% of the U.S. population for the period since 1975. They found that the introduction of aspartame into the USA, into dry goods in 1981 and soft drinks in 1983, was followed by an abrupt increase (of approximately 10%) in the reported incidence of brain tumours. The change was most noticeable between 1984 and 1985, and it corresponded to approximately 1,500 extra cases of brain cancer per year in the USA.
1984 was also the year the first commercial First Generation (1G) cell phone network was set up in the USA.
paul doyon