Medulloblastoma - Childhood: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2021

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of children who are diagnosed with medulloblastoma 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.

Between 250 and 500 children are diagnosed with medulloblastoma each year. About 18% to 20% of childhood brain tumors are medulloblastoma, making it the most common cancerous brain tumor in children. Most medulloblastomas occur in children under 16. More than 70% occur in children younger than 10. The chance of developing medulloblastoma decreases after age 9.

Medulloblastoma can occur in adults, but it is less common. About one-third of medulloblastoma cases in the United States occur in adults between the ages of 20 to 44.

The survival rate tells you what percent of children live after the tumor is found. Percent means how many out of 100. For children with medulloblastoma, the survival rate depends on several factors, including the risk level for this disease and the child’s age when diagnosed. Children who are younger than 3 may have a lower survival rate, as the disease is often more aggressive in this age group.

Overall, the survival rate for children with medulloblastoma that has not spread is about 70% to 80%. The survival rate if the medulloblastoma has spread to the spinal cord is about 60%. Learn more about risk level in the Stages section.

It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for children with medulloblastoma are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of children with this type of tumor 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 Brain Tumor Association, 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 2013–2017 (published October 2020), and the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital website (sources accessed January 2021).

The next section in this guide is Medical IllustrationsIt offers drawings of body parts often affected by medulloblastoma. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.