Pediatric Brain Tumor Treatment
Unlike with typical brain tumor treatment in adults, children need specialized treatment. Dr. Loudon specializes in pediatric care and understands that a child’s body is still in development. Due to this, the brain is also still developing and will react to a tumor differently than an adult might. Since the brain of a child is still in development, the child may experience different symptoms and developmental issues due to the tumor. There is no single cure or method of treatment for a pediatric brain tumor, given the variety of brain tumors that can form in a child’s body.
The factors that contribute to pediatric brain tumor treatment include the tumor’s rate of growth, cell structure in the tumor and more. Since these factors can change as the tumor develops over time, it is crucial for the parents to seek specialized care from a pediatric neurosurgeon. Dr. Loudon can identify the type of tumor and administer the specialized form of treatment the child needs. Symptoms of a brain tumor in children can vary per child and the type of tumor. In children, malign and benign tumors can both be life-threatening.
Symptoms of a brain tumor can include headaches that only dissipate after vomiting; experiencing frequent nausea; suffering from seizures; unusual changes in child’s personality; vision, hearing or speech problems; loss of balance; and an increase in the size of the child’s head (with infants). These are only a few of the possible symptoms a child may experience from a brain tumor. Treatment will vary greatly depending on the age of the child and position of the tumor.
Brain tumor treatment options
There are several options for pediatric brain tumor treatment, one of which includes laser surgery, also known as laser ablation surgery. This form of treatment involves a laser that uses light to heat and then eliminates the unwanted cells from the tumor. While laser ablation treatment is also useful in treating other parts of the body, the doctor can direct the laser to treat a tumor in the brain during surgery.
Another option is radiosurgery, in which the doctor uses a direct blast of radiation to treat the tumor on a regular basis. While this can be a safe process, it may not be the best treatment for all children. Dr. Loudon will determine what the best course of action is for each patient after an examination.
In other cases, surgery that is known as a biopsy may be the best option to remove the cells of the tumor from the child’s brain. A biopsy is where the doctor removes part of the skull and takes a sample of tissue. During the surgery, they examine the cells and attempt to find signs of cancer cells in the sample. If they find cancer cells, then the doctor will remove as much of the tumor as possible in the same procedure or at a second procedure later on. Dr. Loudon will decide if this is the best option for the child or if another treatment option will have a better effect.