What is Craniopharyngioma?
Craniopharyngioma is a rare type of benign (non-cancerous) tumour that usually arises from the pituitary gland of the brain. However, sometimes these can be cancerous and can invade the surrounding structures of the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is a pea-sized gland at the base of the brain that secretes various hormones that play a role in the growth and development of the body and control the functions of other hormone-secreting glands in the body.
Craniopharyngioma usually develops in children and the elderly but can occur at any age. It is more common in African Americans. The peak incidence ranges from 65 to 74 years.
Disease Etiology (causes)
There is no well-known cause, however, certain genetic and chromosomal disorders are considered responsible for the development of craniopharyngioma.
Signs and Symptoms
A craniopharyngioma is a slowly growing tumour that usually shows signs and symptoms when it reaches 3 cm in size. The common signs and symptoms are.
- Dull continuous Headache
- Disturbed vision or changes in vision
- Excessive urination
- Constant Fatigue
- Weight gain
- Inability to tolerate cold
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea (urge to vomit)
- Often suffering from low blood sugar levels
- Mental confusion
- Irregular heartbeat
- Growth failure in adults
- Delayed onset of puberty in adults
- With the advancement in disease males with craniopharyngioma can suffer from decreased sexual desire, impotence (inability in men to achieve orgasm or erection), and cessation of menstruation in females.
The following diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- Imaging tests such as X-Ray, CT-scan (computerized tomography), PET-scan (Positron emission tomography) help detect the site, size, and location of the tumour.
- Tumour biopsy and histopathological examination
Microsurgical procedures and removal of the tumour mass are considered the most suitable surgical methods for the treatment of craniopharyngioma. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are the main treatment options for advanced stages of the disease.
What Support can we Give for Craniopharyngioma (Brain)?
Craniopharyngioma (Brain) is 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 Craniopharyngioma (Brain), 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: