Brain Tumor

Primary Brain Tumors

Primary brain tumors begin in the cells of the brain itself, as opposed to spreading to the brain from other parts of the body. Names for types of primary brain tumors signal which particular brain cells they affect. About 1/3 of all primary brain tumors develop in brain cells called glial cells, and are called gliomas. Different types of gliomas include:

  • Low-grade astrocytoma – These tumors generally grow slowly and do not spread. They generally affect adults between the ages of 20 and 50.
  • Anaplastic astrocytoma – These tumors are more aggressive and fast-growing than low-grade astrocytomas. They can spread into other areas of the brain and affect men more often than women. They make up about 2% of all primary brain tumors. 
  • Glioblastoma multiforme – These are the most aggressive and fast-growing type of astrocytoma. They generally affect adults over age 50 and make up about 17% of all primary brain tumors. 
  • Oligodendrogliomas – These tumors can be either slow-growing or more aggressive. They can occur in adults or children, but are more common in men between the ages of 20 and 40. They make up about 2% of all primary brain tumors.
  • Mixed oligodendrogliomas – These tumors are a mix of an astrocytoma and an oligodendroglioma. They can be aggressive, and generally affect adults between the ages of 20 and 50. They make up about 1% of all primary brain tumors.  

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Last Updated: 08-29-2014
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