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10 Essential Facts About Brain Tumor Awareness Month From a 19-Year Survivor

Learn about National Brain Tumor Awareness Month, featuring clear brain tumor facts and the need for brain tumor research, from a 19-year brain tumor survivor.
PUBLISHED: MAY 15, 2017
People who have brain tumors often experience unique challenges. In the process, types of brain tumors can impact core dynamics, influencing quality of life, survival, and prevention. National Brain Tumor Awareness Month is a heightened time for brain tumor patients, loved ones, and those working in the field to educate the public about brain tumors, and emphasize the importance of donations for brain tumor research.
 
As a 19-year brain tumor survivor, with three awake brain surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy and clinical trials, including DCVax-L immunotherapy with a dendritic cell-based vaccine. The journey involves some highs and lows. In my quest for answers, I know how to find information.
 
My goal is for people to learn from brain tumor facts, with knowledge and aspiration to make a difference. That includes insights and inspiration to fund brain tumor research. As some people already know, time is of the essence.
 
1. Data shows that brain and other nervous system cancer represents 1.4 percent of all new cancer cases in the United States and #16 on the list of cancer types from the National Cancer Institute.
 
2. Brain and nervous system cancer is most frequently diagnosed among people aged 55-64, with the median age at 58.
 
3. Nearly 80,000 new cases of primary brain tumors are expected to be diagnosed in 2017. Approximately a third, or 32 percent, of brain and CNS tumors are malignant. This includes more than 26,000 primary malignant and 53,000 non-malignant brain tumors. Furthermore, there are nearly 700,000 people in the United States living with a primary brain and central nervous system tumor.
 
4.  Pathologists often group brain tumors through grade 1 to 4. Statistics explain that low-grade tumors (grades 1 and 2) grow more slowly than cells from high-grade tumors (grades 3 and 4).
 
5. The most prevalent brain tumor types in adults are meningiomas (making 36.4 percent of all primary brain tumors) and gliomas (making 80 percent of malignant brain tumors). Gliomas include glioblastoma, ependymomas, astrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas. Yet, more than about 120 different types of brain tumors happen, and many with their own multitude of subtypes.
 


Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the Brain Cancer CURE discussion group.
Jeannine Walston is a brain tumor survivor since 1998, cancer coach, writer, consultant and speaker. Her extensive work includes for the U.S. Congress, cancer non-profits, NCI, FDA, NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, hospitals, clinics, doctors, providers, other businesses, cancer patients and caregivers.
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