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Metastatic Cancer of the Brain and Spine

Types of Cancers That Spread

Brain

The types of cancer that commonly spread to the brain are melanoma and cancer of the breast, colon, lung and unknown primary site.

Spinal Cord

The types of cancer that commonly spread to the spinal cord are lymphoma and cancer of the lung, breast and prostate.

Causes of Metastatic Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors

About half of metastatic brain and spinal cord tumors are caused by lung cancer. Leukemia, lymphoma, breast cancer and gastrointestinal cancer may spread to the leptomeninges, the two innermost membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.

Treatment Options

Treatment depends on the type and stage of disease, and may include surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy, or a combination.