See, Play and Learn
Brain tumors are abnormal growths inside the skull. They are among the most common types of childhood cancers. Some are benign tumors, which aren't cancer. They can still be serious. Malignant tumors are cancerous.
Childhood brain and spinal cord tumors can cause headaches and other symptoms. However, other conditions can also cause the same symptoms. Check with a doctor if your child has any of the following problems:
- Morning headache or headache that goes away after vomiting
- Frequent nausea and vomiting
- Vision, hearing, and speech problems
- Loss of balance or trouble walking
- Unusual sleepiness
- Personality changes
- Increased head size in infants
The symptoms are not the same in every child.
Doctors use physical and neurological exams, lab tests, and imaging to diagnose brain tumors. Most childhood brain tumors are diagnosed and removed in surgery.
Treatment for children is sometimes different than for an adult. Long-term side effects are an important issue. The options also depend on the type of tumor and where it is. Removal of the tumor is often possible. If not, radiation, chemotherapy, or both may be used.
NIH: National Cancer Institute
- General Information about Childhood Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- Pediatric Brain Tumors (American Brain Tumor Association)
Diagnosis and Tests
- How Are Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Children Diagnosed? (American Cancer Society)
- Ultrasound: Head (For Parents) (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
Prevention and Risk Factors
- What Are the Risk Factors for Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Children? (American Cancer Society)
Treatments and Therapies
- Childhood Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors Treatment Overview (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- Childhood Brain Stem Glioma Treatment Option Overview (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- Childhood Central Nervous System Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor Treatment (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- Childhood Central Nervous System Embryonal Tumors Treatment (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- Childhood Central Nervous System Germ Cell Tumors Treatment (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- Childhood Craniopharyngioma Treatment (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- Childhood Ependymoma Treatment (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- Treatment Options for Childhood Astrocytomas (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- Rhabdoid tumor predisposition syndrome: MedlinePlus Genetics (National Library of Medicine)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Childhood Brain Tumors (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Accumulation of Mitochondrial DNA Microsatellite Instability in Malaysian Patients with Primary...
- Article: Hemispherical Pediatric High-Grade Glioma: Molecular Basis and Therapeutic Opportunities.
- Article: The Diagnostic Value of Apparent Diffusion Coefficient and Proton Magnetic Resonance...
- Childhood Brain Tumors -- see more articles