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Childhood Cancers: Brain Tumours

Childhood brain tumours are a diverse group of diseases characterised by the abnormal growth of tissue contained within the skull. Brain tumours can be benign or malignant. Other than leukaemia and lymphoma , brain tumours are the most common type of cancer that occurs in children. Brain tumours are typically divided into Infratentorial tumours (those that occur in the lower part of the brain) and Supratentorial tumours (those that occur in the upper part of the brain).

If a child presents symptoms that may be caused by a brain tumour, his or her doctor may order a computed tomographic (CT) scan, a diagnostic test that uses computers and x-rays to create pictures of the body. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, a diagnostic test similar to a CT scan but which uses magnetic waves instead of x-rays, may also be performed. Often, a biopsy is need to confirm diagnosis.

Treatment and prognosis depend on the type of tumour, its location within the brain, the extent to which it has spread, as well as the child's age and general health. There is no staging for childhood brain tumours. Brain tumours are grouped according to their location within the brain and the appearance and behaviour of the tumour tissue. Treatment options include: Surgery; Radiation therapy; Chemotherapy.

The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken from the following source(s):
1. Pediatric Cancers, University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center:

Other HON resources 
   From MedHunt

Brain Tumour
    From HONselect
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Brain Neoplasms
Infratentorial Neoplasms
Supratentorial Neoplasms

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Brain Neoplasms
Infratentorial Neoplasms
Supratentorial Neoplasms


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Contact Last modified: Oct 20 2004