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Questions About Cancer? 1-800-4-CANCER

What You Need To Know About™

Brain Tumors

  • Posted: 04/29/2009

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About This Booklet

This National Cancer Institute (NCI) booklet (NIH Publication No. 09-1558) is about tumors* that begin in the brain (primary brain tumors). Each year in the United States, more than 35,000 people are told they have a tumor that started in the brain.

This booklet is only about primary brain tumors. Cancer that spreads to the brain from another part of the body is different from a primary brain tumor.

Lung cancer, breast cancer, kidney cancer, melanoma, and other types of cancer commonly spread to the brain. When this happens, the tumors are called metastatic brain tumors.

People with metastatic brain tumors have different treatment options. Treatment depends mainly on where the cancer started. Instead of this booklet, you may want to read the NCI factsheet Metastatic Cancer. The NCI Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) can send you this fact sheet, as well as other information about metastatic brain tumors.

This booklet tells about diagnosis, treatment, and supportive care. Learning about medical care for brain tumors can help you take an active part in making choices about your care.

This booklet has lists of questions that you may want to ask your doctor. Many people find it helpful to take a list of questions to a doctor visit. To help remember what your doctor says, you can take notes or ask whether you may use a tape recorder. You may also want to have a family member or friend go with you when you talk with the doctor--to take notes, ask questions, or just listen.

This text may be reproduced or reused freely. Please credit the National Cancer Institute as the source. Any graphics may be owned by the artist or publisher who created them, and permission may be needed for their reuse.