tumours account for 15% of paediatric cancers.
Since the brain controls learning, memory, senses (hearing, visual, smell,
taste, touch), emotions, muscles, organs, and blood vessels, the
presentation of symptoms varies accordingly.
Treatment of paediatric
brain tumour is more complex than is the treatment of some of the other
cancers. Surgery to remove the tumour is not
always possible because it may be inaccessible or because surgery would
damage parts of the brain necessary for the functioning of the mind and/or
body. Inoperable areas of the brain include: brain stem, thalamus, motor
area, and deep areas of grey matter. Even a
benign tumour in the brain can be life threatening.
reason malignant brain tumours can be difficult
to treat is because a blood-brain barrier exists which prevents some
chemicals from entering the brain and reaching the tumour.
Therefore, the prognosis depends not only on the type, grade, and size of
the tumour, but on its location in the brain.
Reading about brain tumours can be particularly
daunting for the parent of a recently diagnosed child. The nomenclature of
brain cancers is difficult for the layman to master, since the tumours
are described in terms with which most of us do not use in everyday
conversation. Luckily, at least four sites (listed below) currently exist
on the Internet which describe the many brain
cancers. These sites use tables, diagrams, and pictures to depict the
different paediatric cancers, as well as
passages of detailed text. They are well written and are easy to
understand because they fully explain each new medical term which they
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