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Rare Brain and Spine Tumors

Primary central nervous system (CNS) tumors begin in the brain or spinal cord. There are over 130 different CNS tumor types. However, they account for less than 2 percent of all cancers diagnosed each year in the United States. For more statistics, visit the NCI Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program website

Because primary CNS cancers are so rare, disease information, support, and expert care can be hard to find. NCI-CONNECT started with 12 select tumor types, each with fewer than 2,000 people diagnosed per year in the United States. It has since expanded its selection to include tumor subtypes based on molecular findings—and will continue to do so as new discoveries are made. Explore these NCI-CONNECT resources to learn about CNS anatomy, as well as CNS tumor causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

We would like to acknowledge the following authors who have contributed to writing and reviewing content included on the 12 rare CNS tumor types highlighted on the NCI-CONNECT website: Terri Armstrong, Ph.D.; Orwa Aboud, M.D.; Lisa Boris; Brittany Cordeiro; Maria Fletcher Ruiz; Mark Gilbert, M.D.; Kristin Odom; Carlos Romo, M.D.; Christine Siegel; Brett Theeler, M.D.; Elizabeth Vera; Margarita Raygada, Ph.D; Marta Penas-Prado, M.D.; Byram Ozer, M.D., Ph.D.; and Raleigh McElvery. We would also like to acknowledge the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States (CBTRUS) for epidemiological data on the 12 rare CNS tumor types.