Understanding Childhood Brain & Spinal Cord Tumors betterSpinal cord and brain tumors are usually of very many types. These tumors usually result from the cells growing abnormally and may start at different parts of the spinal cord or brain. The tumors formed may be malignant/ cancer or benign/ not cancer. It is rare for the tumors to be spread to other tissues. The malignant brain tumors tend to grow very quickly after which they spread to other brain tissues. Once a tumor has pressed a certain brain area, it might lead to that part stop working in the way it is required to work. Both malignant and benign brain tumors usually cause some symptoms and require treatments. The spinal cord and the brain usually make the CNS- central nervous system. The brain is responsible for controlling very important functions of the body.

Spinal cord and brain tumors- Treatment

These two tumors are very common types of childhood cancer. Even though it is rare for children to get cancer, spinal cord and brain tumors are rated as the 3rd most common kind of childhood cancer, right after lymphoma and leukemia. Both adults and children can get the brain tumors but the treatment for adults and children usually vary. What causes these tumors remain unknown and the symptoms of spinal cord and brain tumors in children are different from one child to the other. Common symptoms are such as headaches, but other conditions might still have similar symptoms.

The various symptoms of brain tumor

·         Morning headaches and headaches that disappear after vomiting

·         Speech, vision and hearing problems

·         Frequent vomiting and nausea

·         Troubled walking and loss of balance

·         Activity level changes and unusual sleepiness

·         Unusual changes to behavior or personality

·         Seizures

·         Increased head size for infants

<h2>Symptoms of spinal cord tumor</h2>

·         Back pain or just pain, which spreads from back to legs and arms

·         Trouble urinating or changes in bowel habits

·         Leg weakness

·         Troubled walking

Besides these symptoms, there are some children who are not able to reach some milestones in their growth and development like walking, sitting and even talking in sentences. The tumors can be detected through a number of tests like physical examination, neurological exam, serum tumor market test, MRI, CT scan, angiogram, PET scan, etc.

There are times when it is not possible to conduct safe surgery or biopsy, particularly when the tumor has been formed in spinal cord or the brain. Other procedures and imaging tests are used to diagnose the tumors. The chance of recovery or prognosis is affected by certain factors. The chances of the child recovering from the cancer will usually depend on whether any cancerous cells are left after surgery, type of tumor in question, age of the child and the location of the tumor in the body.