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Joining Forces To Cure Brain Tumors



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Every year 300,000 people in the U.S are diagnosed with a brain tumor. 

Childhood brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer death in people ages 20 and younger.  They are the second leading cause of cancer deaths in male adults between 20 to 29 and the fifth leading cause of deaths in female adults ages 20 to 39.  Only 31% of males and 30% of females survive five years following the diagnosis.  The cause of brain tumors remains unknown.  Brain tumor research is underfunded and the public remains unaware of the magnitude of this disease.


What is the difference between brain tumors and brain cancer?


There are so called "benign" and "malignant" brain tumors; and we call "malignant" brain tumors as brain cancer.


Benign tumors usually have clear margins from the brain itself so that surgery can take the whole tumor out without any tumor cells left behind in a majority of cases.  Even if surgery cannot take the whole tumor out, they usually grow slowly and, again, have clear margins from the brain; so they are relatively more manageable.  Those tumors, therefore, barely take patients' lives (some of them do, but in the 21st century medical standard, it is rare to see patients lose their lives from these tumors.)


On the other hand, "malignant" brain tumors arise from the brain tissue itself and grow invasively in the brain.  Thus, it is impossible to take all the tumor cells out.  They are resistant to chemotherapy and radiation, and these tumors behave as "cancer" and take a patient's life.  Gliomas are the most typical type of malignant brain tumors.  Metastatic brain cancers (e.g. breast cancer that metastasize to the brain) behave in the same way.  It is very important to find better treatments for these patients.


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