How often does cancer spread to the brain?
Cancer is clearly one the most-often encountered serious, life-threatening illnesses, with 1.8 million new cases diagnosed every year in the United States. Of these cases, lung, melanoma, and breast are the most common. Spread, or metastasis, to the brain definitely indicates a serious escalation of the primary disease and requires highly-specialized and coordinated medical management to get things under optimal control.
Approximately 30-40 percent of primary cancers will spread to the brain at some point during the cancer journey. Fortunately, there have been new advances in both systemic control of the primary cancer and exciting new technologies in both brain imaging and precision radiation.
These techniques are designed to preserve the normal brain while destroying cancerous deposits, and they have markedly prolonged high-quality survival in most patients, when metastasis is found early and treated aggressively.