Healthbeautyidea.com | Pediatric Brain Tumor: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment – A brain tumor is an abnormal mass or growth of cells that occurs in the brain or surrounding tissues and structures. There are many different types of childhood brain tumors – some are not cancerous (benign) and some are cancerous (malignant).
In terms of incidence of existing reports, brain tumors that often occur in children are different from the type that often occurs in older patients. This can affect the way diagnostic and treatment approaches will be applied by neurosurgeons.
Treatment and chances of recovery (prognosis) depend on the type of tumor, its location in the brain, the presence or absence of spread (metastasis), age, and general health condition of the child.
Treatment for brain tumors in children is usually very different from treatment for older persons brain tumors. Therefore, it is very important for parents to seek the expertise and experience of a neurosurgeon who is specialized in neuroscience and pediatric neurosurgery.
Frequent childhood brain tumors include choroid plexus carcinoma, Craniopharyngioma, embryonal tumor, ependymoma, glioma, medulloblastoma, and pineoblastoma.
Pediatric brain tumor symptoms
Signs and symptoms of pediatric brain tumor vary greatly and rely on the type, size, location and speed of growth of brain tumors. Symptoms of brain tumors appear because the abnormal excessive growth of the tumor can suppress or damage normal the brain parts, so that the function of that part of the brain can be disrupted / lost. Some signs and symptoms may not be easily detected because they resemble symptoms of conditions other than brain tumors.
Some of the symptoms of brain tumors common in children include:
- Headaches, which over time become more frequent and severe
- Increased pressure in the head
- Nausea or vomiting that cannot be explained the cause
- Visual impairment (double vision, blurring, to complete blindness).
Other signs and symptoms that can also occur, depending on the location of the tumor, include:
- Tight and convex fontanel in babies
- Seizures (especially when there is no previous history of seizures)
- Abnormal eye movements
- Swallowing disorder
- Appetite disturbed
- Balance disorder
- Weakness in the arms and/or legs
- Memory impairment
- Personality or behavior changes
- Hearing loss.
What causes brain tumors in children?
Just like brain tumors in older persons, in children until now it is still not certain what causes the brain tumors. However, the greatest risk of pediatric brain tumor is genetic from the mother.
Unlike brain tumors in older persons that can grow from the spread of cancer cells in other body parts, pediatric brain tumor enter the primary type of brain tumor, which is a tumor that comes from the brain cells themselves. If this tumor has developed since the child is still in the womb, then brain tumors are more likely to occur in the part of the brain that is behind the eyes and around the pituitary glands, producing body hormones (including growth hormones).
Genetics from parents greatly affect the growth of pediatric brain tumor. Another factor that can increase the risk of developing brain tumors is exposure to radiation and free radicals that can make brain cells divide and develop abnormally without stopping.
The neurologist, nerve, or pediatric surgeon will perform the right supporting examination to establish the right diagnosis for the child, so that decision-making related to the procedure can be more accurate and effective. These supporting examinations include:
- Laboratory examination of blood & spinal fluid
- CT Scan
When the diagnosis has been established, there are several treatment options. The treatment chosen will be adjusted based on the type of tumor, the size, and location of the tumor, as well as the age and general condition of the child’s health. Curative management of brain tumor patients in children includes:
- Radiotherapy (destroying tumor cells with radiation)
- Chemotherapy (drugs that destroy tumor cells)
Rehabilitation has an important role for children who have undergone curative treatment, because previously damaged / impaired brain function can be improved through rehabilitation. Rehabilitation can help improve a child’s muscle/motor skills, cognitive, and speech.