The anatomical grouping together of brain tumors masks their diverse biological differences. As a general rule brain tumors do not metastasize out of the CNS.
Treatment options for CNS tumors remains controversial but usually involves surgery and/or radiotherapy.
Brian tumors are notoriously difficult to diagnose because of thier varied and often non-specific presentations. The mean time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis is usually around 5 to 6 months.
The most common presenting symptom is vomiting and headache. Other features that may be seen are changes in personality and mood, deterioration of school performance, growth failure, weight loss and seizures. Some children may present with disturbance of speech and developmental delay.
A brief discussion of different CNS tumors in children is given here:
- Most commonly occurring brain tumor.
- Range from low grade (benign) tumors, usually in the cerebellum, to high grade (malignant) tumors, usually supratentorial and in the brain stem.
- The glioblastoma multiforme tumor has a near fatal prognosis.