The only significantly helpful action for increasing the chance of survival from brain cancer, aside from successfully treating the cancer itself, is treating other medical conditions that may be present. Additional factors that strongly contribute to the brain cancer survival rate are outside of the individual’s control. These are the susceptibility of the cancer to surgical treatment; its location and type; and the patient’s age, according to WebMD.
Brain tumors are classified as benign or malign and graded on their severity on a scale from one to four, explains WebMD. Benign brain tumors grow more slowly and seldom invade brain tissue, while malign tumors grow rapidly and spread into brain tissue. The higher a tumor’s grade, the less normal its cells appear under examination and the more quickly the cells spread. A tumor’s grade may eventually increase and a tumor that has disappeared may reappear with a higher grade.
The most common types of adult brain cancer are oligodendrogliomas, astrocytomas and meningiomas, notes WebMD. Oligodendrogliomas and meningiomas are most often grades one, two or three. Oligodendrogliomas appear in cells that sheathe nerves, while meningiomas appear in the lining of the brain. Astrocytomas appear in the cerebrum and can be of any grade.
All forms of brain cancer are also classified as primary or secondary, depending on where the cancer originated, states WebMD. Primary brain cancers appear in the brain and remain localized to it, while secondary brain cancers spread to the brain from elsewhere in the body. Organs in which secondary brain cancers most frequently originate include the heart, lungs, kidneys and colon.