GLIOMAS are tumors formed from glial cells. Glial cells in the brain hold nerve cells in place, bring food and oxygen to them, and help protect them from disease, such as infection.
The BRAIN STEM is the part of the brain connected to the spinal cord. It is in the lowest part of the brain, just above the back of the neck. It controls breathing, heart rate, and the nerves and muscles used in seeing, hearing, walking, talking, and eating. Most childhood brain stem gliomas are PONTINE GLIOMAS, which form in a part of the brain stem called the pons.
BENIGN BRAIN TUMORS grow and press on nearby areas of the brain. They rarely spread into other tissues. MALIGNANT BRAIN TUMORS are likely to grow quickly and spread into other brain tissue. Both kinds of tumors can cause signs and symptoms and need treatment.
Childhood brain stem glioma is either a DIFFUSE INTRINSIC PONTINE GLIOMA (#DIPG) or a FOCAL GLIOMA.
#DIPG is a high-grade tumor that is fast-growing and spreads all through the brain stem. It is hard to treat and has a poor prognosis (chance of recovery). Children younger than 3 years diagnosed with DIPG may have a better prognosis than children who are 3 years and older.
A FOCAL GLIOMA is slow-growing and is in one area of the brain stem. It is easier to treat than DIPG and has a better prognosis.
Some tumors do not cause signs or symptoms. Signs and symptoms may be caused by childhood BRAIN STEM GLIOMAS or by other conditions. The Institute of Interventional Oncology (IDOI México) recommends you to check with your child's doctor if your child has any of the following:
-Loss of ability to move one side of the face and/or body.
-Loss of balance and trouble walking.
-Vision and hearing problems.
-Morning headache or headache that goes away after vomiting.
-Nausea and vomiting.
-More or less energy than usual.
-Changes in behavior.
-Trouble learning in school.
BRAIN TUMORS can occur in both children and adults and they are the second most common type of cancer in children.