Brain tumor in a child: 11 obvious signs
The formation of pathological cells in the tissues of the brain or spinal cord is represented bybrain tumor in children. The disease affects areas that control important body functions and affect the vital activity of the entire human body. This is one of the most common forms of childhood cancer lesions.
After identifying the main signs and conducting diagnostic tests,brain tumor in the childcan be classified for such general characteristics:
- benign formation slowly grows and does not penetrate into neighboring tissues. In this case, the neoplasm becomes a danger by that, while increasing, it squeezes the nearby parts of the brain, which provokes the appearance of certain symptoms;
- Malignant brain lesions include low-grade formations (not very aggressive) and high-grade tumors that grow rapidly and spread to other organ tissues;
- primary formations begin in the brain;
- secondary formations consist of cells that have metastasized their other parts of the body.
Brain tumor in a child: the most common types
Astrocytomas- are formed from certain cells in the posterior part of the head. Children often present an aggressive form.
Ependymums- are formed from a part of the central nervous system.
Gliomasbrainstem(tumors of the brainstem) arise in the tissues that connect to the spine (the posterior part of the skull). As a rule, they represent fast-growing high-class lesions. A variety is the Pontic glioma.
Medulloblastoma- begin in the posterior cranial fossa at the base of the skull.
Gliomas of the optic nerve(tumor of the optic nerve) - affect the tissue that connects the eye to the brain.
Craniopharyngiomas- non-cancerous tumors that occur at the base of the brain (in the pituitary gland).
Tumors of germ cells, as a rule, form in the testes or ovaries, but can form in the brain and in the central nervous system. Represent both non-cancerous and cancerous formations.
Primarily, brain tumors in children are gliomas or medulloblastomas (70-80%). Other neoplasms represent craniopharyngiomas or germ cell tumors.
Brain tumors in children: symptoms
Symptoms andsymptoms of brain tumor in childrenare not the same. They depend on the following factors:
- Exact location of the neoplasm (part of the brain or spinal cord).
- The size of the tumor and the speed of growth.
- Age and general development of the child.
Brain cancer in children can have a wide range of effects on the body. Tumors affect the mental, sensitive, motor function, memory and general condition of the child.
An enlarged brain tumor can raise the child's pressure inside the skull, and also block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, causing its accumulation (hydrocephalus).
The first signs of a brain tumor in children
Even at the initial stages of the disease, brain cancer in children can reveal themselves certain signs. Therefore, it is desirable for parents to be vigilant and in time to apply for additional medical examination with at least three conditions that represent the first signs of a brain tumor in children:
- Changes in appetite, gag reflex and vomiting (usually worse in the morning);
- A painful condition that often comes after vomiting. In children up to 2 years of age is expressed by unusual anxiety;
- Extreme drowsiness, severe decay or alteration of activity, lethargy and pallor;
- Unusual behavior;
- Irritability and loss of interest in your favorite activities (games, watching cartoons, etc.);
- Eye disorders, such as abnormal eye movement, blurred vision or double vision;
- Temporary loss of balance, weakness in the legs, problems with walking (frequent stumbling and falling);
- Convulsive seizures;
- Increased head size in infants;
- Numbness of the body;
- Regress in toilet habits (involuntary urination, poor feces or frequent constipation).
However, it is important to understand that these symptoms do not always indicate the presence of a tumor. They can be caused by less serious diseases of childhood.
Important things to know: Signs of cancer in children
Signs of a brain tumor in children depending on the location of the tumor
Abnormal formations located in different branches of the brain and spinal cord cause different symptoms. By the occurrence of problems with specific functions, it is possible to determine the localization of the tumor.
Symptoms of a brain tumor in children in accordance with a specific location include:
Tumors in parts of the brain (large and external) - cause loss of control over the motor function, including weakness and numbness of one side of the body.
Intracranial neoplasms - cause headaches, problems with general well-being, impaired coordination. Children under the age of 4 can have macrocopy, frequent nausea, irritability, lethargy. The brain tumor in a child of the first years of life, as a rule, is determined by a refusal to eat, poor digestion, increased tearfulness, weakness. Accompanying factors are hyperreflexia (increased reflexes) and paralysis of the cranial nerves.
The central formations of the brain are manifested by the unusual movement of the eyes, strabismus and the presence of other common symptoms.
Atypical formations of the anterior part of the brain- are responsible for problems with language and thinking (loss of speech or even understanding words, lack of language skills).
Tumor in the back of the brain or around the pituitary gland- damages the optic nerves.
The brain tumor in children, which is located in the basal ganglia, causes pathological movements and body positions.
Neoplasms in the cerebellum (the back of the brain) provoke problems with the control of coordination, walking and even eating.
Tumors within or near other cranial nerves can lead to hearing loss, problems with balance, facial muscles, swallowing.
Neoplasm of the brain stemare associated with abnormal gait, paralysis of the cranial nerves, headache and strabismus.
Cancer of the spinal cord in children provokes numbness, weakness, lack of coordination, problems with the intestine and bladder.
Knowing the signs and symptoms listed above, indicatingbrain tumor in the child, it is possible to recognize brain oncology in a child at an early stage, thereby improving the overall outcome diseases and preventing a possible critical situation (neglected stage, inoperable form tumor).If several conditions are found, parents should immediately consult a doctor!.