If a brain or spinal cord tumour spreads
Cancer cells can spread from an organ to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis.
Brain and spinal cord tumours are different from most other types of cancer because they rarely spread outside the central nervous system to other parts of the body. They may spread to nearby tissue, which can interfere with necessary functions of the brain and spinal cord.
Some types of brain tumours may spread from the brain to the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and the spine. Spinal cord tumours spread along and around the spine and spinal cord. They may also shed cancer cells into the CSF.
American Cancer Society. Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Adults. 2014: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003088-pdf.pdf.
American Society of Clinical Oncology. Brain Tumor. 2015: http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/brain-tumor/view-all.