Brain tumors are abnormal growths inside the skull and are some of the most common types of cancers found in children.
While some are benign, they can still be serious. Malignant tumors, on the other hand, are cancerous. In general, they can cause: headaches in the morning that go away after vomiting, general nausea, vision or speech problems, a loss of balance or problems walking, unusual sleepiness (being sleepier than normal), changes in personality, seizures and a head that is larger than normal in newborns. These symptoms are not the same in all children, however. Some of these warning signs can even be confused with other conditions.
As the National Cancer Institute explains, physicians use physical, neurological and laboratory exams as well as imaging tests to diagnose brain tumors. Most tumors in children are removed through surgery; treatment depends on the type of the tumor and its location, however. While it is often possible to cut out the tumor, when it is not possible, radiation, chemotherapy or both therapies may be used.
If they are not diagnosed on time, brain tumors can destroy brain cells directly, causing swelling and increasing intracranial pressure. The recommendation is to see a physician upon experiencing any warning signs.
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