Brain Tumours in Children: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Discovering that a child has a brain tumour can be a distressing experience for any parent. However, it is important to stay informed about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options to ensure the best possible outcome for your child. In this article, we will explore these aspects of brain tumours in children, providing you with valuable information and resources.

Causes of Brain Tumours in Children

The exact causes of brain tumours in children are often unknown. However, there are certain risk factors that may increase the likelihood of developing a brain tumour. These include:

  • Genetic conditions such as neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis, and Li-Fraumeni syndrome
  • Exposure to radiation, either from medical treatments or environmental sources
  • Family history of brain tumours
  • Previous history of certain types of cancer

It is important to note that most children with these risk factors do not develop brain tumours, and many children with brain tumours have no identifiable risk factors.

Symptoms of Brain Tumours in Children

The symptoms of brain tumours in children can vary depending on the location, size, and type of tumour. Some common symptoms include:

  • Headaches, often accompanied by vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Changes in vision or hearing
  • Difficulty with balance or coordination
  • Behavioral changes or mood swings
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation.

Diagnosing Brain Tumours in Children

Diagnosing a brain tumour in a child typically involves a series of tests and evaluations. These may include:

  • Physical examination and medical history review
  • Neurological examination to assess reflexes, coordination, and mental status
  • Imaging tests such as MRI or CT scans to visualize the brain and identify any abnormalities
  • Biopsy, which involves removing a small sample of the tumour for laboratory analysis

These diagnostic procedures help healthcare professionals determine the type, location, and extent of the brain tumour, which is crucial for developing an appropriate treatment plan.

Treatment Options for Brain Tumours in Children

The treatment of brain tumours in children depends on various factors, including the type, location, and size of the tumour, as well as the child’s age and overall health. Treatment options may include:

  • Surgery: In some cases, the tumour can be surgically removed, either partially or completely.
  • Radiation therapy: High-energy beams are used to target and kill cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy: Medications are used to destroy cancer cells or prevent their growth.
  • Targeted therapy: Drugs are used to specifically target cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy cells.

The specific treatment plan will be determined by a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, who will consider the unique needs of each child.


While the diagnosis of a brain tumour in a child can be overwhelming, it is important to remember that there are treatment options available. By staying informed about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options, you can be an active participant in your child’s healthcare journey. If you suspect that your child may have a brain tumour, consult a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation and guidance.

Remember, early detection and timely intervention can make a significant difference in the outcome for children with brain tumours.


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