Most solid tumors in children are found in the brain. Every year, about 4,000 children and teens are told they have a primary brain tumor. Primary brain tumors begin in the brain and don’t spread to other parts. Most cancers that start in the central nervous system are brain tumors. Brain tumors start in the brain cells and can be either cancerous or not cancerous. A tumor is a growth of tissue that shouldn’t be there.
A benign tumor doesn’t have cancer cells, and once it’s gone, it usually doesn’t come back. Most harmless brain tumors do not spread to other parts of the brain. But because of their size and where they are in the brain, these tumors can cause some of the same symptoms as cancerous tumors. Cancer cells are found in malignant brain tumors.
Malignant brain tumors usually increase and spread to other parts of the brain. Malignant brain tumors don’t usually spread to other body parts, but they can come back after treatment. Malignant is sometimes used to describe brain tumors that are not cancerous because of their size, location, and damage to essential brain functions.
Anyone can get a brain tumor at any age. Brain tumors in babies and young children are very different from brain tumors in adults, both in the kind of cells and how well they respond to treatment. If your child needs surgery, you should contact theÂ Best brain tumor surgeon.
What are the signs of a brain tumor in a child?
Here are some of the most common signs of having a brain tumor. However, the symptoms may vary from child to child. Symptoms depend on how giant and where the tumor is. Many signs are brought on by increased pressure in or around the brain in highly young children whose skull bones have not yet fused. There is no room in the skull for anything but the soft tissues of the brain and its fluid. Extra tissue, any tumor, or fluid can put pressure on the brain and cause the following symptoms:
Intracranial pressure (ICP) goes up because there is more tissue or fluid in the brain. If one or more ventricles that empty cerebrospinal fluid (CSF, the fluid surrounding the spinal cord and the brain) are blocked, the fluid can get stuck. This can cause the pressure to rise. When ICP goes up, these things can happen:
- Throwing up (usually in the morning)
- Feeling sickÂ
- Changes in personality
- Decreased heart and lung function, leading to coma if not treated.
Brain tumors in the cerebrum (front of the brain) can cause symptoms such as:Â
- Changes insight
- slurred speech;Â
- Weakness or paralysis on one side of the body or face
- Trouble speaking;
- Higher pressure inside the head (ICP)
- Feeling tired or confused
- Changes in personality or bad judgment. Loss of short-term memory.
- Problems with walking
- Problems with talking
Brain tumors in the brainstem (at the base of the brain) can cause:Â
- Seizures Endocrine Problems (diabetes and hormone control)
- Seeing double or seeing things that aren’t there,Â
- Nerves and muscles of the face or half of the body become weak or stop working.Â
- Increased intracranial pressure (ICP)Â
- Uncoordinated, clumsy walking,Â
- Loss of hearing
- People change over time
- Brain tumors in the cerebellum (the back of the brain) can cause:Â
- High pressure inside the skull (ICP)
- Throwing up (usually occurs in the morning without nausea)
- Headache Muscles that don’t work together
- Having trouble walking (ataxia)
Some of the signs and symptoms of a brain tumor may look like those of other diseases or health problems. Always get a diagnosis from your child’s doctor. Not all pediatric brain tumors need Brain Tumor Surgery.
What causes brain tumors in children?
- Most brain tumors are induced by genes that control the cell cycle, growing cells. These abnormalities are caused by changes in the genes or chromosomes that change how a gene works.
- Patients with von Hippel-Lindau disease, neurofibromatosis, retinoblastoma, or Li-Fraumeni syndrome are more likely to get tumors in their central nervous system. There have also been reports of kids in the same family who don’t have any of these genetic syndromes getting brain tumors.
- Some chemicals may change the structure of a gene that keeps the body safe from diseases and cancer. Researchers have been looking into the parents of children with brain tumors and the chemicals they may have been exposed to in the past, like pesticides and petroleum products.
- Children who have been treated for other cancers with radiation therapy to the head are also more likely to get a new brain tumor.
As with any cancer, the prognosis and long-term survival rate can vary a lot from person to person. You need to see theÂ Best Neurosurgeon in Gurgaon, Dr. Vikas Kathuria, and start treatment right away for the best prediction. A child with a brain tumor needs to care for the rest of their life. Brain tumor survivors can get side effects from radiation and chemotherapy and get second cancer.