A pediatric brain tumor can be a terrifying discovery and one that requires quick treatment.
By understanding important information about pediatric brain tumors, parents can ensure their child receives the care they need and understand why surgery may be recommended to remove the tumor.
Surgery for Pediatric Brain Tumors
Pediatric brain tumors can be treated in many cases, although surgery is often required to ensure the tumor does not cause health concerns.
The following is everything to know about pediatric brain tumors, including whether surgery is the best course of action.
What are pediatric brain tumors?
Pediatric brain tumors are a mass of cells that grow in the brain of a child, and they can either be cancerous or non-cancerous. Pediatric brain tumors carry serious health risk regardless of the type of tumor that exists.
However, children’s brain tumors have a better prognosis than adult tumors. Through an accurate diagnosis and a variety of treatment options, children can overcome pediatric brain tumors in many instances.
While most with pediatric brain tumors survive into adulthood, parents should be aware of the long-term risks, such as physical and intellectual challenges that may exist as a result of treatment.
What are the symptoms of pediatric brain tumors?
The symptoms and severity of the symptoms vary depending on the exact location and size of the growth, but the most common symptoms of pediatric brain tumors include the following:
- Chronic headaches
- Problems with balancing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Memory problems
- Sudden mood changes
- Speech difficulties
It is essential to visit the doctor anytime the signs of a tumor exist as the earlier treatment can be administered the greater chance the patient has to overcome the tumor without suffering from long-term effects.
How are pediatric brain tumors diagnosed?
The first step towards diagnosing pediatric brain tumors is to conduct thorough documentation of the symptoms and previous medical history. The doctor is likely to perform a physical examination early in the diagnostic process.
Additionally, a neurological exam, which tests the child’s reflexes and coordination, is conducted to help with diagnosis. The doctor may use various diagnostic tests such as a CT scan, MRI and x-ray of the brain.
After determining whether a tumor is present, the doctor can recommend treatment options and answer any questions the parent or the child may have.
Is surgery necessary for pediatric brain tumors?
Surgery is almost always the first recommended form of treatment with pediatric brain tumors. The brain surgery is performed by a neurosurgeon who specializes in working with children’s brains.
Surgery to remove pediatric brain tumors allows doctors to do two things: remove the tumor so that the symptoms do not continue and determine whether the tumor is cancerous.
Regardless of the status of the tumor, follow up care is most often required. This is especially true if the patient experiences any adverse side effects from the surgical procedure.
Do you need a doctor?
No one wants to hear their child has a pediatric brain tumor. That said, a parent who notices any of the symptoms mentioned above should see a doctor as soon as possible.
If you are concerned about your child, then call our office to schedule an appointment.