Childhood Brain Tumors

What are Childhood Brain Tumors?

Childhood brain tumors are a diverse group of diseases characterized by the abnormal growth of cells within the brain. Other than leukemia and lymphoma, brain tumors are the most common type of cancer that occurs in children.

Brain tumors can occur in both children and adults; however, treatment is usually somewhat different.

Types of Childhood Brain Tumors

There are several types of childhood brain tumors, depending upon the location of the the tumor and the behavior of the tissue. Currently, there is no staging for childhood brain tumors. Instead, they are grouped and treated according to their type. Types include:

Types of Brain TumorsSub-types
Infratentorial tumorsMedulloblastoma
 Cerebellar astrocytoma
Infratentorial ependymomaBrain stem glioma
Supratentorial tumorsCerebral astrocytoma
Supratentorial ependymoma 
Central nervous system germ cell tumor 
Supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal and pineal tumors 
Visual pathway and hypothalamic glioma 
Spinal cord tumors 

Common Symptoms of Childhood Brain Tumors

The most frequent symptoms of brain tumors include:

  • Headaches that tend to be worse in the morning and ease during the day
  • Seizures
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness or loss of feeling in the arms or legs
  • Stumbling or lack of coordination in walking
  • Abnormal eye movements or changes in vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Changes in personality or memory
  • Changes in speech

These symptoms may be caused by brain tumors or by other problems. If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, please see his/her doctor.

Diagnosing of Childhood Brain Tumors

If symptoms are present, the doctor will complete a physical exam and will perform additional tests to find the cause of symptoms. Tests may include:

If a tumor is present, additional tests will be performed to determine whether or not the tumor is cancerous (malignant), the type of tumor, and, if cancerous, the stage of the disease.

Treatment Options for Childhood Brain Tumors

Once your child’s doctor and specialists determine the type of tumor, they will work with you and your child to develop the best treatment plan. Treatment options include:

Information about…Our services
SurgeryPediatric Surgery
Radiation TherapyRadiation Oncology
ChemotherapyPediatric Oncology

Find out about our clinical trials for:

Childhood Brain Tumors

National cancer clinical trials

Our Specialists

Barbara L. Asselin M.D.

Andrea Hinkle, M.D.

David N. Korones, M.D.

Norma Lerner, M.D.

James Palis, M.D.

Radiation Oncologist

Louis Constine, M.D.

Pediatric Neurosurgeon

Howard J. Silberstein M.D.

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