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NEURO-ONCOLOGY is the study of abnormal tissue growth (such as tumors) in the central nervous system . And the central nervous system (or CNS) is the medical name for the brain and spinal cord.

Although brain tumors rarely spread to other parts of the body, most of them can spread through the brain tissue. Even benign tumors can destroy and compress normal brain tissue, causing damage that is disabling and sometimes fatal. For this reason, doctors usually speak of ‘brain tumors’ rather than ‘brain cancers.’ The main concerns with CNS tumors are how readily they spread through the rest of the brain or spinal cord and whether they can be removed and not come back.

Several conditions may increase the risk of developing certain types of brain tumors: exposure to radiation, exposure to vinyl chloride, and having certain genetic syndromes. There are no screening tests for brain and CNS cancers. Standard treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy.