ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of children and adolescents who are diagnosed with a CNS tumor each year. You will also read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. Use the menu to see other pages.
Approximately 3,540 brain and other CNS tumors will be diagnosed this year in children ages 0 to 14 in the United States. After leukemia, brain and other CNS tumors are the second most common childhood cancers, accounting for about 26% of cancer in children younger than 15.
As explained in the Introduction, there are several types of CNS tumors diagnosed in children, and survival rates are different for each. The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of children live at least 5 years after the tumor is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The 5-year survival rate for children with a CNS tumor, excluding benign brain tumors, is 74%. However, the survival rate for a CNS tumor depends on many factors, including the type of tumor diagnosed and its stage (see Stages and Grades).
It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for children with a CNS tumor are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of children with this cancer in the United States. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. So the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. Talk with your child’s doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.
Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's (ACS) publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2020, and the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States Statistical Report: Primary Brain and Other Central Nervous System Tumors Diagnosed in the United States in 2012–2016, published November 2019 (all sources accessed January 2020).
The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by a childhood CNS tumor. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.