A TUMOR is a mass of normal or abnormal cells that forms a new growth or is present at birth (congenital). Brain and spinal cord tumors are found in the tissue inside the skull or bone spine that makes up the Central Nervous System (CNS).
There are more than 120 types of brain and spinal cord tumors. Some are called by the type of cell in which they begin (such as glioma) or location (such as meningioma, which forms in the lining of the brain and spinal cord). Brain tumors in infants and adults tend to be located in the brain; Brain tumors in children between 1 and 12 years of age are most commonly found in the cerebellum.
Primary CNS tumors begin in the brain or spinal cord. They can be malignant or benign and are identified by the types of cells they contain, their location or both. Most primary CNS tumors occur in adults.
Metastatic or secondary CNS tumors are caused by cancer cells that shed from the primary tumor that initially developed in a part of the body that does not belong to the CNS. They are more common than primary tumors and occur more frequently in adults than in children.
They are more frequent in men and are more common in middle-aged and elderly people. They also tend to occur more often in children younger than 9 years old than in older children.
Other risk factors for developing a primary CNS tumor include race (Caucasians are more likely to develop them than other races) and occupation. Workers in jobs that require repeated contact with ionized radiation or certain chemicals are at a higher risk.
Having one or more of the known risk factors does not guarantee that someone develops a tumor.
The Institute of Interventional Oncology (IDOI Mexico) recommends talking to your doctor if you are concerned about any changes you observe.