Staging childhood brain and spinal cord tumours
Staging is a way to describe or classify a cancer based on the extent of cancer in the body. Extent includes the size of the tumour and where the cancer is in the body. The healthcare team uses the stage to plan treatment and estimate prognosis.
There is no standard staging system for childhood brain and spinal cord tumours. Instead, the plan for treatment depends on the type of tumour, where the tumour is, the grade of the tumour and whether the tumour is newly diagnosed or has come back after treatment (is recurrent).
Recurrent brain and spinal cord tumours
A recurrent brain or spinal cord tumour means that the tumour has come back after it has been treated. It can come back in the same location as the original tumour or in other areas of the central nervous system (CNS). Certain brain tumours, such as medulloblastomas, may come back elsewhere in the body, outside of the CNS.
Great progress has been made
Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.