Understanding Pediatric Brain Tumors Treatment

Posted on: August 21, 2023

Pediatric Brain Tumor Treatment Orange, CA

Pediatric brain tumor treatment can bring hope to families of children diagnosed with brain tumors. These tumors can manifest in different parts of the brain and cause a range of symptoms that can impact a child's quality of life. Timely and effective pediatric brain tumor treatment is needed to protect the health and well-being of young patients. Pediatric brain surgeons work with parents and other medical professionals to design and implement a multidisciplinary treatment plan.

Understanding pediatric brain tumors

Pediatric brain tumors are abnormal growths that develop in children's brains or surrounding tissues. While they are relatively rare compared to adult brain tumors, they remain the most common tumors that affect young people. These tumors can vary in type, location, and aggressiveness, leading to various symptoms and patient outcomes. The exact cause of pediatric brain tumors is largely unknown, although certain genetic conditions and environmental factors may play a role in their development.

The symptoms of pediatric brain tumors can vary depending on the tumor's size, location, and growth rate. Common symptoms may include:

  • Persistent headaches
  • Seizures
  • Balance and coordination issues
  • Sudden changes in behavior or personality
  • Vision problems
  • Developmental delays

Parents and healthcare professionals should be aware of these signs and seek medical attention immediately if they persist or worsen.

Pediatric brain tumor treatment

The three main pediatric brain tumor treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Often, a medical team will use a combination of these methods to maximize the treatment's effectiveness.

Surgery

Surgical intervention is a primary treatment for many pediatric brain tumors. If the brain tumor is accessible for an operation, the pediatric brain surgeon will surgically remove as much of the tumor as possible without causing damage to a child's healthy brain tissue. In some cases, complete removal may not be possible due to the tumor's location and an increased risk of neurological deficits. However, even partial removal can alleviate symptoms and aid in future treatments.

Traditional radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to target and eliminate cancer cells. It is often employed after surgery to eliminate any remaining tumor cells or when complete surgical removal is not feasible. Radiation oncologists and pediatric brain surgeons work closely together to ensure the radiation targets specific locations to minimize damage to healthy brain tissue.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. It may be administered orally, intravenously, or directly into the cerebrospinal fluid, a clear, colorless fluid found within the tissue around the brain and spinal cord. The pediatric brain surgeon collaborates with pediatric oncologists to determine the most appropriate chemotherapy regimen for each patient.

Radiosurgery

Stereotactic radiosurgery employs multiple beams of a highly-focused form of radiation treatment to kill the tumor cells in a small concentrated area. While each beam of radiation is not powerful, their combined power targeted at the brain tumor can deliver a large dose of radiation to kill the tumor cells. A medical professional can typically do radiosurgery in one treatment session, allowing the child to go home on the same day.

Targeted drug therapy

Targeted drug treatments focus on specific abnormalities within the tumor's cancer cells. When blocking these abnormalities, targeted drug therapies can cause cancer cells to die.

One example of a targeted drug therapy for treating a low-grade glioma is bevacizumab (Avastin). When administered through an IV, this drug works by inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels. This cuts off the tumor's blood supply and destroys cancer cells.

Supportive care after treatment

Brain tumors often cause issues in areas that control motor skills, speech, and thinking. As a result, pediatric brain tumor treatment often involves supportive care to address a child's physical, emotional, and educational needs. Rehabilitation services, including physical and occupational therapy, can help restore functions affected by the tumor or its treatment. Psychological and social services and educational assistance are also important to support the child's well-being during and after treatment.

Conclusion

If your child has recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor, we understand that this is a scary time. Our team is here to support you and your child as they start their journey to healing. Call our office for more information about pediatric brain tumor treatment options.

Request an appointment here: https://www.drloudonpediatricneurosurgery.com or call Dr. William G. Loudon, Pediatric Neurosurgery at (714) 677-9463 for an appointment in our Orange office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Pediatric Brain Tumor Treatment in Orange, CA.


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