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Glioblastoma multiforme - children; Ependymoma - children; Glioma - children; Astrocytoma - children; Medulloblastoma - children; Neuroglioma - children; Oligodendroglioma - children; Meningioma - children; Cancer - brain tumor (children)
A primary brain tumor is a group (mass) of abnormal cells that start in the brain. This article focuses on primary brain tumors in children.
The cause of primary brain tumors is unknown. Primary brain tumors may be:
Brain tumors are classified depending on:
Brain tumors can directly destroy brain cells. They may also indirectly damage cells by pushing on other parts of the brain. This leads to swelling and increased pressure within the skull.
Tumors may occur at any age, but many tumors are more common at a certain age. However, most brain tumors are rare in the first year of life.
COMMON TUMOR TYPES
Astrocytomas are usually noncancerous, slow-growing cysts. They most commonly develop in children ages 5 - 8.
Brainstem gliomas occur almost only in children. The average age at which they develop is about 6 years old. The tumor may grow very large before causing symptoms.
Ependymomas are located in tiny passageways (ventricles) in the brain, and block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
Medulloblastomas are the most common type of childhood brain cancer. They occur more often in boys than girls, usually around age 5. Most medulloblastomas occur before age 10.
Buckner JC, Brown PD, O'Neill BP, Meyer FB, Wetmore CJ, Uhm JH. Central nervous system tumors. Mayo Clin Proc. 2007;82(10):1271-1286.
National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Central nervous system cancers. V.2.2009.
Wilne S, Koller K, Collier J, Kennedy C, Grundy R, Walker D. The diagnosis of brain tumours in children: a guideline to assist healthcare professionals in the assessment of children who may have a brain tumour. Arch Dis Child. 2010;95:534-539.
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