Train For The Brain

Facts and Statistics about Brain Tumours

  •  Each year 300 children in Australia are found to have a brain tumour.
  •  Brain tumours are the second most common cause of death in children after leukaemia.
  •  Each year about 180,000 adults are found to have a brain tumour.
  •  There are over 120 different types of brain tumours.
  •  People with brain tumours have the second highest (after leukaemia) estimated lifetime treatment cost of $40,732.
  •  Although ranked 19th in terms of incidence, brain tumours ranked 4th in terms of person years of life lost to age 75.
  •  In 2006-2007 brain tumour patients had the highest average length of hospital stay (11.4 days) of all cancer patients.
  •  There are only a handful of experienced brain tumour-specific patient care coordinators in Australia.
  •  Scientists are working hard to learn what causes brain tumours and how to make them stop growing. Right now, scientists are focusing on the DNA inside tumour cells. Most brain tumours seem to have an abnormal chromosome somewhere in their DNA—how this develops is not yet known.
  •  Scientists DO know that nothing you think, say, or do can cause a brain tumour. And, you cannot "catch" a brain tumour from someone else.
  •  Malignant brain tumours have a very poor prognosis. More men are affected by primary tumours than women but more women develop meningioma (benign) brain tumours.
  •  Benign brain tumours are not published in Australian cancer registry statistics, but can be lethal.


  • 200,000 people worldwide develop a primary malignant brain tumour each year.
  • About 70% are in less developed countries where many cannot access standard therapy.


The future

The development of the chemotherapy temozolomide during 2000-2007 has slightly improved survival for those who benefit from it but only by several months.

Brain tumours were one of the three most intransigent cancers (lung and ovarian being the others) selected for detailed analysis under the international Cancer Genome Atlas project and early results have identified some promising new genetic markers which might lead to more effective targeted therapies, but these developments will take time.

Brain tumour research in Australia receives a lower proportion of funding from Governments than most other cancers when compared with its devastating impact. Brain tumour researchers are more heavily dependent on community funding.

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