What is Childhood Brainstem Glioma?
Childhood brainstem glioma is a type of brain tumor that occurs in the brainstem, the part of the brain connected to the spinal cord. These tumors are more common in children than adults and can vary greatly in their aggressiveness, ranging from low-grade gliomas, which are slower growing, to high-grade gliomas, which are more aggressive and can be life-threatening.
Symptoms of childhood brainstem glioma often develop quickly and may include:
- Difficulty with balance and coordination.
- Changes in speech and swallowing.
- Weakness of the facial muscles or one side of the body.
- Vision problems, including double vision.
- Headaches, often worse in the morning.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Behavioral changes or decline in school performance.
Disease Aetiology (Causes)
The exact cause of childhood brainstem glioma is not well understood. Genetic and environmental factors may play a role, but currently, there are no known definitive causes or risk factors.
Diagnosing childhood brainstem glioma typically involves:
- Neurological Examination: Assessing the child’s balance, coordination, vision, and hearing.
- Imaging Studies: MRI is the most common imaging test used to diagnose brainstem gliomas.
- Biopsy: In some cases, a biopsy may be performed to determine the type and grade of the tumor, although this can be challenging due to the tumor’s location.
Treatment for childhood brainstem glioma depends on the tumor’s type and grade:
- Surgery: Often difficult due to the tumor’s location, but may be attempted if the tumor is accessible.
- Radiation Therapy: Commonly used for higher-grade gliomas.
- Chemotherapy: May be used alongside radiation therapy or when surgery isn’t possible.
- Clinical Trials: New treatments are continually being researched, and participation in a clinical trial may be an option.
What support can we give for Childhood Brainstem Glioma?
Childhood Brainstem Glioma is a rare cancer, meaning it is not as well-known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Childhood Brainstem Glioma, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
You can help us with your donation:
Without a Ribbon is a charity that works hard to aid those who suffer from rare cancers. You can help our cause in a variety of ways: