Brain and spinal cord metastases
Brain and spinal cord metastases occur when a cancer spreads to the brain or spinal cord from another part of the body.
Brain metastases @(Model.HeadingTag)>
Brain metastases are more common than tumours that start in the brain (primary brain tumours). It is more common to have multiple brain metastases than a single metastasis.
Any primary cancer can spread to the brain. Cancers that most often spread to the brain include:
Leptomeningeal metastases (also called meningeal carcinomatosis) are tumours that develop when cancer spreads from another part of the body to the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord (meninges).
Cancers that most often spread to the meninges are:
Find out more about brain metastases.
Spinal cord metastases @(Model.HeadingTag)>
Spinal cord metastases most often occur in the bones of the spine (vertebrae) and are called bone metastases.
Cancers that most often spread to the spine include:
Find out more about bone metastases.
Expert review and references
Nater A, Vincent F, Fehlings MG . Spinal column tumors. Bernstein M and Berger MS (eds.). Neuro-oncology: The Essentials. 3rd ed. New York: Thieme; 2015: 40: 474-492.
National Cancer Institute. Adult Central Nervous System Tumors Treatment for Health Professionals (PDQ®). 2016: http://www.cancer.gov/types/brain/hp/adult-brain-treatment-pdq#section/all.
Patel AJ, Lang F, Sawaya R . Metastatic brain tumors. Bernstein M and Berger MS (eds.). Neuro-oncology: The Essentials. 3rd ed. New York: Thieme; 2015: 38: 451-461.
US National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Metastatic Brain Tumor. 2014: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000769.htm.