Cancer frequently affects the nervous system. Primary tumors of the CNS are the second most common form of cancer in children, and primary brain tumors in adults are more common than Hodgkin's disease. In the United States in 1977 there were 10,900 new cases of primary CNS cancer and 8,800 deaths. Of 690,000 new cancer cases, 385,000 patients died, and 50,000 of the deaths were directly associated with metastatic cancer to the nervous system. The bulk of these consisted of lung cancer, breast cancer, malignant melanoma, lymphomas, and leukemias.
Tumors of the nervous system may be classified by location and pathology, as given in the following two tabulations.
Classification of Intracranial Tumors by Location2
Tumors of the skullMetastatic tumorsEosinophilic granulomaTumors of the meningesMeningiomaMeningeal carcinomatosisTumors of the cranial nervesAcoustic neuromaNeuroectodermal tumorsCerebralAstrocytomaOligodendrogliomaGlioblastomaCerebellarMedulloblastomaAstrocytomaBrainstemGliomaEpendymomaOther primary
Chou SN, Kramer RS, Shapiro WR. Intracranial Tumors—Panel 2. Arch Neurol. 1979;36(12):739–749. doi:10.1001/archneur.1979.00500480013004
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