Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Definition: Neurological Cancer

Neurological cancer, or cancer of the brain, is any form of cancer that originates within the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). Tumors that originate in other parts of the body and spread to the brain are called secondary, or metastatic, tumors. Metastatic tumors most often occur in patients with melanoma (a type of skin cancer), lung, or breast cancer, although any tumor can spread to the central nervous system.

Malignant (cancerous) brain tumors are usually fast growing and spread to surrounding tissue. They rarely spread to other areas of the body, but may recur after treatment.

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 20,000 malignant tumors of the brain or spinal cord are diagnosed each year in the U.S. Both adults and children are included in these statistics.