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We demonstrated the pattern in presentation of primary intracranial tumors in a population-based cohort of patients aged 0-24 years identified from the National Cancer Registry for England, using linked medical records from primary care and hospitals. We used generalized additive models to estimate temporal changes in presentation rates. Borderline and malignant tumors presented at a similar rate in primary care (6.4 and 6.6 consultations per 100 patients each month) and in hospital (3.4 and 3.6). Benign tumors presented earlier but less frequently (rate = 4.4 and rate ratio = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.60-0.93, in primary care; rate = 2.6 and rate ratio = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.77-0.89, in hospital). Many tumors began presenting shortly before their diagnosis, but less aggressive tumors were likely to present earlier in primary care. Earlier detection of less aggressive tumors in primary care may reduce the risk of complications and morbidity among survivors.