Brain cancer in children


Brain cancer in children is caused by abnormal or uncontrolled growth of cells. Malignant brain tumors are classified by location, type of cells and growth pattern.

Classification of brain tumors in children

  • Low-grade or high-grade:

Usually, tumors of a low degree of development grow slowly, while full ones are fast-growing and very aggressive towards adjacent tissues. Malignant process of the formed oncological disease invades neighboring brain tissue in children and often develops repeatedly after the course of treatment.

  • Localized or invasive:

The boundaries of the localized tumor are within one area of ​​the organ and, as a rule, are easily removed, since they are located in the accessible part of the brain. The invasive form of cancer is difficult to treat surgically, as it grows into the adjacent parts of the brain.

  • Primary or secondary:

Primary brain tumors grow from the brain tissue, and secondary tumors form from metastasized cells. In childhood, primary pathological processes predominate.

Causes of brain cancer in children

Like all tumors of the body, malignant neoplasms of the brain begin with a disruption in the growth and division of normal cells. As a result of this process cells are formed, affected by cancer pathology. The cause of malignant growth is unknown, although modern research is conducted in the field of genetics and ecology.


Some genetic diseases contribute to the onset of cancer. These are diseases such as neurofibromatosis, Hippel-Lindau disease and Lee-Fraumeni syndrome.

Symptoms of brain cancer in children

The development of a brain tumor in children exerts direct pressure on surrounding brain tissue or provokes the accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (a condition known as hydrocephalus).

Symptoms of brain cancer in children vary depending on the age of the child and the location of the tumor. Main features:

  • vomiting;
  • nervous attacks;
  • general weakness in the trunk, arms and legs;
  • speech impairment;
  • the child has a motor impairment;
  • poor coordination;
  • headache;
  • babies are rapidly increasing their head.

Diagnosis of brain cancer in children

Signs of brain cancer in childrendevelop gradually. They can also be similar to many common childhood illnesses. In this regard, brain tumors are difficult to diagnose.

If a tumor is suspected, the doctor will prescribe the baby a tomography of the brain and an MRI. These procedures allow you to explore the structure of the brain and determine the pathological area. These survey methods are absolutely painless. They only require children to remain calm during the procedure. Some children, especially at an early age, are prescribed sedation before the examination.

Treatment of brain cancer in children

Treatment for brain cancer in children is conducted by a team of medical specialists. Most children's brain tumors need a combination of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. In the past few decades, progress in all three areas of cancer therapy has made it possible to achieve excellent results in the treatment of brain cancer.

Caring for a child with a brain tumor is very difficult and requires close coordination between members of the medical team, which usually includes:

  • a pediatric neurologist (a doctor who specializes in treating brain or spinal cord cancer);
  • child neurologist (a doctor who specializes in diseases of the nervous system);
  • a child neurosurgeon (a surgeon who performs operations on the brain or spine);
  • a child radiation therapist (a specialist who conducts radiation therapy);
  • specialists in children's rehabilitation medicine, who are engaged in rehabilitation of speech and physical functions of the body;
  • child psychologists and social workers.

These experts carefully select the necessary form of therapy for the child. Define a treatment that will be effective and able to eliminate a serious ailment without causing unacceptable side effects, probably one of the most difficult aspects of therapy in diagnosisbrain cancer in children.


Children's neurosurgery has great success in helping children with brain tumors. This is facilitated by innovative technologies in operating. An important role is assigned to the early diagnosis of a pathological disease.

Neurosurgeons can use stereotactic devices that provide a 3D image of the brain during surgery.

In children's oncology, a series of operations is very often used. The term refers to the partial withdrawal of a malignant entity. Instead of immediately removing a large tumor, the surgeon removes only part of the tumor during the diagnosis. After this, the patient receives chemotherapy or radiation therapy to reduce the tumor. Then the medical team, analyzing the structure of the cells, returns to excision of the remains of the cancer neoplasm.

After surgery, some small patients do not need treatment outside of a specialized medical institution (only periodic examinations and brain imaging are performed). But nevertheless, many babies, however, require radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a combination of them.