ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about how many people learn they have brain stem glioma each year and some general survival information. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. To see other pages in this guide, use the colored boxes on the right side of your screen, or click “Next” at the bottom.
Approximately 4,000 CNS tumors are diagnosed each year in children younger than 20. About 1,000 of these are considered benign tumors. After leukemia, CNS tumors are the second most common childhood cancer, accounting for about 25% of cancer in children younger than 15. Brain stem tumors account for 10% of all childhood brain tumors.
Survival rates (percentage of people who survive after the tumor is detected, excluding those who die from other diseases) for children with brain stem glioma vary depending on the location of the tumor. Long-term survival rates for children with a tumor in the midbrain or the medulla oblongata range from 65% to 90%. However, a tumor located in the pons is more difficult to treat and often worsens quickly. It is uncommon for a child with a tumor in this location to live longer than 12 to 14 months after diagnosis.
Survival statistics should be interpreted with caution. Estimates are based on data from thousands of children with this type of tumor, but the actual risk for a particular individual may differ. It is not possible to tell a person how long he or she will live with a brain stem glioma. Because the survival statistics are measured in multi-year intervals, they may not represent advances made in the treatment or diagnosis of this cancer. Learn more about understanding statistics .
Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's publication, Cancer Facts and Figures 2013 and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
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