Brain metastases are clusters of malignant or cancerous cells that have spread from another part of the body to the brain. About 170,000 people will be diagnosed with brain metastases this year making it more common than many primary tumors, such as primary brain tumors (70,000 cases), lymphoma (89,190) or colon cancer (106,590).
- It is common to say a person has "brain cancer" when the cancer has spread to the brain from another part of the body. However, with brain metastases, instead of having both brain cancer and breast cancer, a person has breast cancer that has spread to the brain.
- The most common cancers that spread to the brain are lung cancer, breast cancer and melanoma. However, just about any cancer can spread to the brain.
- Cancer treatments have become more advanced in recent years, allowing many patients to live longer with the disease than ever before. Unfortunately, brain metastases still occur in many patients sometimes months or even years after their original cancer treatment. There are many treatment options available for patients with brain metastases.