Cancer

Medulloblastoma

Description

Medulloblastoma is a malignant and invasive tumor that begins in the region of the brain at the base of the skull. These tumors have a tendency to spread to other parts of the brain and the spinal cord.

Medulloblastoma is a childhood brain tumor.The majority of Medulloblastoma tumors are found in children younger than 16 years old. Medulloblastoma tumors are somewhat more common in boys than girls.

As the tumor is mostly found in children some of the symptoms are:

  • Headaches.
  • Morning Nausea or vomiting that slowly gets worse.
  • Difficulties in Handwriting.
  • Visual problems that are rare at the time of diagnosis.

If the tumor has spread to the spinal cord the symptoms contain

  • Trouble in walking.
  • Back pain.
  • Controlling bladder problems and bowel functions.

Although exact cause of medulloblastoma is not knowm, latest findings say that medulloblastoma is associated with certain chromosomal abnormalities which probably occur at some time during a child's development. One of the possible causes that has been investigated is exposure of the foetus to specific causative viruses.

Treatment of Medulloblastoma

The three kinds of treatment that are characteristically used to treat Medulloblastoma are:

1. Surgery: Surgery is the well-known process of taking off the tumor and some surrounding healthy tissue when the operation is taking place.

2. Radiation therapy: At times radiation therapy can hamper the growth and development of a child’s brain and spine. In such a situation, the doctor will choose to treat the tumor in another way. If radiation therapy is the option then the approach will be based on the child’s age.

Chemotherapy is the practice of using drugs to destroy tumor cells, generally by stopping the tumor cells’ ability to increase and divide.

Complications

After treatment complications of the medullablastoma consist of:

  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Pain around surgical cut
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Problems in talking

Post-Operative Care

After a day or two of the operation, a team of experts works with the child to support him recover from the operation. The parents should talk to these team members about what they can do. For example, their child will start sitting at the edge of the bed, and continue to sit in a chair one or two days after surgery. The nurse or physiotherapist will be helpful to the child with this activity.

The parent can also help joining in his daily activities like bathing and dressing. Parents should also help their child to construct a friendly and healing environment to ensure that the child has familiar items from home, such as family photos or favorite toys.