Important information

A person with a suspected neurological cancer should be referred to a neurologist or neurosurgeon who is a member of a neurological cancer multidisciplinary team. 

All specialists listed on Canrefer are members of a multidisciplinary team.


What is neurological cancer?

Neurological cancers start in the central nervous system which consists of the brain and spinal cord. Types of neurological cancers include astrocytoma, glioblastoma, spinal cord and brain stem tumours.

Graphic of a human body highlighting the brain


What tests are needed?

Common tests used to diagnose neurological cancers include:

  • physical examination
  • imaging - CT scan and/or MRI scan
  • biopsy.


What treatment options are there?

Treatment for neurological cancers may include one or more of the following:

  • surgery
  • radiotherapy
  • chemotherapy
  • targeted therapy.

If treatment is specialised and complex, patients may need to travel to have a part of their treatment. The local health district will have an arrangement in place for this.


How common is neurological cancer in NSW?

Neurological cancer was diagnosed in:

  • 2015
    590 people in NSW
  • 2014
    579 people in NSW
  • 2013
    547 people in NSW
Data source: Cancer statistics NSW portal (sourced from Institute Data Warehouse, Cancer Institute NSW. Available at:


Last updated: 22 February 2019

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