Most Common Childhood Brain Tumor

Tumor in children is mostly a growth of abnormal cells that occurs in their brain or the tissue and structures.

There are different types of tumors. The Most Common Childhood Brain Tumor is pilocytic astrocytoma.

Some of which are non-cancerous or benign, some of which are cancerous or malignant. Treatment of the tumor depends on the location of its existence, whether it will spread, the child’s age, and general health.

Most Common Childhood Brain Tumor:

If your child is having a brain tumor he will go through severe and frequent headaches. He will feel high pressure in his head and will experience unexplained vomiting and nausea. Sometimes a tumor may also cause vision problems such as double vision. It can also sometimes cause abnormal eye movement. Some other symptoms are changes in personality, drowsiness, depression, inactive cardiac and respiratory function, and irritability.

Primary brain tumor which starts in the cell does not spread outside the brain tissue. A brain tumor sometimes does not contain cancer cells which means once you remove it, it won’t occur again. A brain tumor occurs due to an abnormality of genes involved in your cell cycle. This causes uncontrolled growth of the cell. One of the causes of a brain tumor in children is if their parents are exposed to certain chemicals.

Some Of The Most Common Childhood Brain Tumor

Atypical Teratoid/ Rhabdoid Tumor:

Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor is a cancerous tumor. It grows very fast in your body. It mainly damages the growth of the child by making changes in the genes which make protein. Genes of the children having ATRT don’t work properly. ATRT is very much rare and found in only 10% of children with a brain tumor. It occurs in older children who are above age 3 years. Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor is caused due to a certain type of mutation. Sometimes this mutation when inherited by your child, causes another kind of tumor as well which is equally harmful and dangerous. 

Some of the symptoms of an Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor include headache while waking up in the morning, nausea and vomiting often during the mornings, lethargy and fatigue, trouble to walk properly or get balance and coordination. ATRT causes a particular kind of disease named hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a condition when fluid builds up in the brain. This results in increased head size in infants and headaches or vomiting in children. 

There are few treatments in which your child cures. Surgery is one option for children with Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors. In this surgery, the surgeon removes a part of the skull and takes a portion of the tumor to examine. If it results in cancer, then the surgeon takes out the tumor as much as possible. Chemotherapy is another option to treat ATRT where powerful medicine is used to kill the cancer cells. Chemo injects into the bloodstream or is sometimes given by mouth. It helps in stopping the cancer cells to grow or make more other cancer cells within.

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG):

DIPG is often known as a dangerous tumor among the Most Common Childhood Brain Tumor. The source of this tumor is a cell called glia. Glia surround protects and sometimes supports nerve cells in the brain. This tumor is not a solid lump like other tumors. It spreads throughout nearby tissues. Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma is most common in children under the age group of 7 to 9 years old. Sometimes they can occur at any age. Some of the symptoms of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma are as follows:

Continuous headaches in the morning. It happens usually after waking up. With extreme headaches, you also feel nauseous and vomiting. Sometimes it becomes very difficult to chew and shallow which results in loss of appetite. One side of your child’s face and eyelids may experience drooping.

Other than this your child may have difficulty in speaking and maintaining balance while walking. Due to lack of balance children who have diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma sometimes become inactive and end up having other harmful health diseases. Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma also causes vision problems in children and sometimes eye impairment.

It is nearly impossible to remove a DIPG brain tumor with the help of surgery. It locates in the brain steam mixed and surrounded with healthy tissues. But through radiation therapy, the tumor gets shrink. But still, it is not curable. It is primarily diagnosed with an MRI. The researcher has tried chemotherapies for Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma but was unsuccessful. Due to lack of treatment, a patient with this kind of brain tumor dies within 2 years. 

Medulloblastoma: 

Medulloblastoma is the Most Common Childhood Brain Tumor. It originates from the back of the brain called the cerebellum. It grows very fast in the lower back part of the brain also known as the posterior fossa. This type of tumor is very dangerous as it can spread to other parts of the body. It spreads in the brain lining or meninges and the spinal cord while diagnosis.

Some of the symptom’s children with medulloblastoma will experience is extreme and severe headaches, lack of energy, insomnia, and trouble in sleeping, changes in vision or eye impairment, vomiting after waking up, loss of appetite, hearing loss, changes in the ability to think and unable to walk properly. your child becomes clumsier and loses balance while walking. 

The tumor diagnoses with a CT scan or MRI test just like other tumors. After checking the small portion of the tumor taken out by surgery, the surgeon suggests if the tumor is cancerous or non-cancerous. To treat the tumor, the surgeon first sees if the tumor is in one place or if it has metastasized. Sometimes chemotherapy or radiation therapy is also used to treat this kind of tumor. The most common childhood brain tumor is medulloblastoma. The combination therapy of chemotherapy and radiation treatment cures medulloblastoma. 

Pilocytic Astrocytoma:

Pilocytic astrocytoma (PA) is a slow-growing type of tumor of the primary central nervous system (CNS). Symptoms of Pilocytic astrocytoma is very much common with the symptoms of other most common childhood brain tumor. They are extreme headache which starts particularly in the morning, weight gain or loss, difficulty in walking or balancing, getting a gastrointestinal illness or frequent vomiting, vision problems like double vision or blurry vision, etc. Sometimes children lose vision due to the tumor. 

The main form of treatment with JPA is surgical excision and removal of as many tumors as possible (resection). In cerebellar tumors, most cases can be completely removed with surgery, which is usually considered curative. In some cases, only part of the tumor can be safely removed.

Conclusion:

Tumors are very much common in children and there is absolutely nothing to scare about. Few tumors are cancerous and some are non-cancerous. There can various kinds of tumors in a child, the most common childhood brain tumor is DIPG. Always consult a doctor before giving any medicine to your child. Also keeping a healthy lifestyle will help him to fight the disease. Try to be patient with yourself as treating a tumor is a very slow process. Talk openly with your child and doctor. Also aim to enjoy the things your child wants and make their life special. 

FAQ

What is the deadliest brain tumor?

The deadliest brain tumor is glioblastoma. It charges its way into the normal brain tissue diffusely. Some of the symptoms are nausea, vomiting, headache, weakness or sensory changes n the face, difficulty in balancing, memory issues, and neurocognitive issues. This tumor is very much difficult to treat. Glioblastomas are diffuse and have finger-like tentacles. This makes it difficult to remove completely. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy slow down the growth of glioblastoma tumors in children.

Can a child survive a brain tumor?

The life expectancy of a child with a brain tumor depends on many factors like the size of the tumor and the location of the tumor. The average five-year survival meaning the number of children who survived more than five years after completion of treatment for all types of brain and spinal cord tumors is very good.

What are the chances of getting a brain tumor?

The chance of a person developing this type of tumor in their lifetime is less than 1%. Brain tumors account for 85% to 90% of all primary central nervous system (CNS) tumors. About 3,460 children under the age of 15 will also develop a brain or CNS tumor this year.

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