Doctor's Notes on Childhood Ependymoma (Brain Cancer)
Childhood ependymoma is a type of cancer that occurs when cells in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord start to grow abnormally. There are different types of ependymomas which can form anywhere in the fluid-filled ventricles and passageways in the brain and spinal cord. Once an ependymoma forms, areas of the brain that may be affected include the cerebellum, brain stem, cerebrum, and spinal cord.
Symptoms of childhood ependymoma depend on the child's age and where the tumor has formed. Symptoms may include:
- frequent headaches,
- neck pain or stiffness,
- loss of balance or trouble walking,
- weakness in the legs,
- blurred vision,
- back pain,
- changes in bowel function,
- difficulty urinating,
- confusion, or
What Is the Treatment for Childhood Ependymoma?
The standard treatment for ependymoma is surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible while preserving the normal surrounding brain tissue. After surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be given. Newer types of treatments including targeted therapies are being tested in clinical trials, which are another option for treatment of children with ependymoma.
Head and Neck Cancer QuizQuestion
Which of these is NOT a type of head and neck cancer?See Answer
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Brain CancerBrain cancer may develop in primary brain cells, in cells that form other brain components, or from the growth of cancer cells in other parts of the body that have spread to the brain. Symptoms include headache, seizures, weakness, and nausea and vomiting. Treatment depends upon the patient's age, overall health, and the size, type, location, and grade of the tumor.
Can A Child Survive Brain Cancer?Survival rates for childhood brain cancer vary widely depending on the type of brain cancer. Children diagnosed with pilocytic astrocytoma, for example, have a 90% chance of being alive five years after diagnosis. Kids with glioblastoma are in worse shape; nearly 80% die from the condition within five years of diagnosis.
Childhood Extracranial Germ Cell TumorsChildhood extracranial germ cell tumors form from germ cells in parts of the body other than the brain. The three types of extracranial germ cell tumors are mature teratomas immature teratomas, and malignant germ cell tumors.
What Are the First Signs of Brain Cancer?My sister had persistent headaches she thought were migraines. She finally got a CT scan because the medication wasn’t effective, and doctors found she had a type of brain cancer and it was already grade III. What are some warning signs of brain cancer? How do you know you have brain cancer?
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.