Brain tumours occur at a frequency of approximately 10/100000 inhabitants per year in Germany. The majority of the tumours are benign, such as tumours of the meninges (meningioma) or the auditory nerve (also known as acoustic neurinoma or vestibular schwannoma). Meningiomas occur at a frequency of about 4-6/100000 per year, are somewhat more common in women and are usually easy to treat with surgery or radiotherapy. Acoustic neurinoma usually occurs in the elderly (apart from rare tumour syndromes) and may cause deafness and dizziness, among other things. They are also treatable by surgery or radiation as a general rule.
Less common are tumours that originate in the brain itself. These include tumours that originate from original cells of white brain matter, such as astrocytomas (these include the most common malignant brain tumour, glioblastoma multiforme), oligodendrogliomas, and also tumours originating from cells of the grey matter (neuronal tumours such as gangliogliomas among others).
Magnetic resonance imaging is usually the most appropriate method for diagnosing brain tumours. In some cases, computerised tomography may provide additional aid in diagnosing calcifications or bone involvement.