This month you might hear, “Wear Your Gray in May” or see that many of your friends have made their profiles on social media sites gray. This is because May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month, and gray is its color.
The brain and spinal cord make up the Central Nervous System (CNS). Tumors that originate in the brain and spinal cord are referred to as CNS tumors. More than 688,000 people in the United States are living with a primary brain tumor or CNS tumor.
Brain tumors are classified as either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). About 550,000 people in the United States are living with benign tumors and 138,000 are living with malignant tumors.
Brain tumors are also organized as either primary or metastatic. Primary brain tumors originate in the brain, while metastatic brain tumors result from cancers that started somewhere else in the body and metastasized (or spread) to the brain. The most common types of cancers that spread to the brain are breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, and melanoma.
A brain tumor diagnosis can trigger a number of emotions, including fear, loneliness, and anger. It is important to remember that you are not alone and there are many resources available to help you. Through these resources, you can take charge of your experience and gain a sense of empowerment.
If you or a loved one is living with a malignant brain tumor, CSC has a number of free resources to help:
- Our affiliate network with more than 50 affiliates and over 100 satellite locations across the country. Through this network, patients and their loved ones can join support groups, mind-body classes, and educational workshops.
- Our Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Brain Tumors book
- Our online support groups
- Our toll-free Cancer Support Helpline®
- Our treatment decision counseling program, Open to Options
Want to help raise awareness for brain tumors this month? Tweet using the hashtag #TuneIn2GBM and tune in to next week’s episode of Frankly Speaking About Cancer for a special episode on brain tumors.