Childhood Brain Tumors

Brain tumors are abnormal growths inside the skull. They are among the most common types of childhood cancers. Some are benign tumors, which aren't cancer. They can still be serious. Malignant tumors are cancerous.

Childhood brain and spinal cord tumors can cause headaches and other symptoms. However, other conditions can also cause the same symptoms. Check with a doctor if your child has any of the following problems:

  • Morning headache or headache that goes away after vomiting
  • Frequent nausea and vomiting
  • Vision, hearing, and speech problems
  • Loss of balance or trouble walking
  • Unusual sleepiness
  • Personality changes
  • Seizures
  • Increased head size in infants

The symptoms are not the same in every child.

Doctors use physical and neurological exams, lab tests, and imaging to diagnose brain tumors. Most childhood brain tumors are diagnosed and removed in surgery.

Treatment for children is sometimes different than for an adult. Long-term side effects are an important issue. The options also depend on the type of tumor and where it is. Removal of the tumor is often possible. If not, radiation, chemotherapy, or both may be used.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Symptoms of Childhood Brain Tumors

The following features are indicative of Childhood Brain Tumors:
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • blurred vision
  • seizures
  • drowsiness
  • balance problems
  • behavioural changes
  • weakness
It is possible that Childhood Brain Tumors shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Childhood Brain Tumors

The following are the most common causes of Childhood Brain Tumors:
  • inherited syndromes
  • exposure to radiations

Risk Factors for Childhood Brain Tumors

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Childhood Brain Tumors:
  • tobacco use
  • genetic condition
  • radiation exposure
  • inherited syndromes like neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and von Hippel-Lindau syndrome
  • exposure to electromagnetic fields
  • use of cell phones

Prevention of Childhood Brain Tumors

No, it is not possible to prevent Childhood Brain Tumors.
  • no known prevention

Occurrence of Childhood Brain Tumors

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Childhood Brain Tumors cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Childhood Brain Tumors most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 0-20 years

Common Gender

Childhood Brain Tumors can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Childhood Brain Tumors

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Childhood Brain Tumors:
  • Imaging tests: To view the pictures of internal organs of the brain
  • Magnetic resonance imaging: To view the detailed images of the brain tumors
  • Computed tomography scan: To view the detailed cross-sectional images of the child’s brain tumour
  • Positron emission tomography scan: To determine any remaining tumor
  • Angiography: To view at the tumor’s blood supply
  • Brain biopsy: To diagnose the brain tumor
  • Stereotactic needle biopsy: To determine the type of tumour
  • Craniotomy: To remove all or most of the tumor
  • Lumbar puncture: To evaluate the cancer cells or chemicals released by tumors in the cerebrospinal fluid
  • Blood and urine tests: To diagnose the brain tumor

Doctor for Diagnosis of Childhood Brain Tumors

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Childhood Brain Tumors:
  • Pediatrician
  • Neurosurgeon
  • Neurologist
  • Neuro-oncologist
  • Neuropathologist
  • Neuro Radiologist
  • Radiation oncologist
  • Endocrinologist
  • Psychologist
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Rehabilitation specialist
  • Social worker
  • Nurse specialist

Complications of Childhood Brain Tumors if untreated

Yes, Childhood Brain Tumors causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Childhood Brain Tumors is left untreated:
  • concentration problems
  • memory problems

Procedures for Treatment of Childhood Brain Tumors

The following procedures are used to treat Childhood Brain Tumors:
  • Surgery: Removal of tumor
  • Radiation therapy: Kill the tumor cells
  • Chemotherapy: Kill the tumor cells remained after surgery

Self-care for Childhood Brain Tumors

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Childhood Brain Tumors:
  • Avoid exposure to radiation
  • Maintain healthy weight: Stay on a healthy weight to decrease the chances of disease

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Childhood Brain Tumors

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Childhood Brain Tumors:
  • Acupuncture therapy: To block the nerve pathways carrying pain sensation to brain
  • Massage therapy: Relieve the symptoms of disease

Patient Support for Treatment of Childhood Brain Tumors

The following actions may help Childhood Brain Tumors patients:
  • Educate yourself about the disease: Helps in getting through cancer treatment
  • Inform about the disease to near ones: Helps in maintaining a sense of daily routine

Time for Treatment of Childhood Brain Tumors

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Childhood Brain Tumors to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Childhood Brain Tumors.
Brain Tumors
Cancer in Children

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