The brain is the most essential and sensitive part of the human body. Therefore, any impact on it results in the malfunctioning of the whole body. One of the common brain diseases is the unexpected and abnormal cell growth in a child’s brain or the structure and tissues surrounding the brain. This condition is regarded as Pediatric Brain Tumors. These tumors generally develop at the age of five to eight. They destroy brain cells, which ultimately leads to many serious consequences.
Categories of Pediatric Brain Tumors
Pediatric Brain Tumors are divided into certain categories according to:
- Their cancerous or non-cancerous nature
- The tissue affected by the tumor
- The place of occurrence of the tumor
Types of Pediatric Brain Tumors
The different types of Pediatric Brain Tumors are:
Choroid Plexus Carcinoma
Choroid Plexus Carcinoma is a cancerous brain tumor. It develops near the brain tissues on the ventricles, the fluid-filled cavities and secretes cerebrospinal fluid. Regarded as a Central Nervous System tumor, Choroid Plexus Carcinoma is divided into three grades.
In MRI, Choroid Plexus Carcinoma has irregular borders and looks like cauliflower. These tumors are more common in children than in adults. The grade one tumors grow and spread slowly, the grade two tumors are mid-grade tumors that can come back, and the grade three tumors are the fastest growing tumors.
There is no particular condition or circumstance that causes Choroid Plexus Carcinoma, yet some of the factors that can cause this tumor are:
- Hereditary factors.
- It can also be the result of some other form of cancer which ultimately led to the growth of this tumor.
- Gene mutation can also be a cause of Choroid Plexus Carcinoma.
Choroid Plexus Carcinoma has the following symptoms:
- Frequent urge to sleep
Choroid Plexus Carcinoma leads to disturbance in the sleep schedule. In many cases, the affected person constantly sleeps for more than 10 hours. Therefore, the urge to sleep more is one of the symptoms of Choroid Plexus Carcinoma.
Since the tumor is present in the brain and specifically affects the tissues of the brain, it causes major headaches. Since the pain is immense, headaches are considered to be a major symptom of Choroid Plexus Carcinoma.
- Throwing up regularly or vomiting
A tumor present in the brain impacts not just the brain but also the whole system, especially the digestive system. As a result, it can lead to frequent vomiting or indigestion.
- Pressure on the eye and double vision.
Another symptom of Choroid Plexus Carcinoma is blurred or double vision. The tumor present in the brain also affects the eyes.
Science is constantly developing new treatments for tumors. These treatments include:
- Removal of tumor/ surgery
- Radiation therapy
Craniopharyngioma is a rare category of tumors that are not cancerous. These tumors usually grow in the pituitary gland as solid tumors. Craniopharyngioma tumors are also called cysts, which are irregular sacs with fluid in them. The occurrence of such tumors is seen mostly in children between five years to fourteen years. Craniopharyngioma is basically slow-growing tumors with serious consequences. These tumors are hormone-producing and control all the major body functions.
There is no exact cause known for Craniopharyngioma.
The symptoms of Craniopharyngioma are:
- Hormonal imbalance or insufficiency
The hormones present in the body are duly affected by the tumor present in the pituitary gland. Craniopharyngioma leads to an imbalance of hormones or restricts the production of hormones in particular.
- Low blood pressure and fatigue
Another symptom of Craniopharyngioma is low blood pressure or fatigue. The presence of such a tumor can make a person exhausted and tired. It also limits their movements because there is hardly any energy produced in the body.
- Excess vomiting
Craniopharyngioma affects the digestive system. This leads to frequent vomiting.
- Loss of vision
Just like Choroid Plexus Carcinoma, Craniopharyngioma also impacts the vision of the eyes. It has serious effects such as night blindness, blurred vision and much more.
The possible treatments of Craniopharyngioma are:
- Removal of tumor/ surgery
- Radiation therapy
Occurring mostly in infants and children, Embryonal Tumors are cell tumors that affect mitotic activities. These types of tumors occur mostly in the brain and spine. These tumors are cancerous and can occur in fetal cells.
Embryonal Tumors have different types such as:
- Medulloblastomas which occur in the lower part of the brain.
- Embryonal Tumors with Multilayered Rosettes (ETMRs), which occur in the largest part of the brain.
- Medulloepithelioma, which occurs mostly in the spinal cord and brain.
- Atypical teratoid or Rhabdoid Tumor, found in the cerebellum.
- Another type of Embryonal Tumors, which include cancerous tumors, is called Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumors (PNETs). They occur in the brain and spinal cord.
Like every other Tumor, the exact cause for Embryonal Tumors is unknown. Diseases such as Turcot syndrome, Fanconi anemia, Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome and others can lead to such tumors.
The symptoms of Embryonal Tumors are:
- Muscular weakness
Embryonal tumors make a person weak and restrict muscle growth.
Paralysis is one of the most serious symptoms caused due to Embryonal Tumors. In the case of such tumors, the face is often paralyzed and, sometimes, a complete portion of the body.
Headache is another common symptom of Embryonal Tumors.
- Nausea and Dizziness
Nausea and Dizziness are also caused because of Embryonal Tumors.
The available treatments for Embryonal Tumors are:
- Surgery to relieve the fluid in the Tumor
- Surgery to remove the Tumor
Pediatric Brain Tumors in children are quite serious. There are guidelines to prevent such tumors, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle is recommended. Advanced treatment techniques are now available to address such tumors.
This article aims to provide basic knowledge, including the types, causes, symptoms, and treatment for the most common types of Pediatric Brain Tumors. Brain tumors in children are treated differently than tumors in adults. Therefore, it is important to have the proper knowledge of health issues, diseases and treatments.