A childhood brain or spinal cord tumor is a disease in which abnormal cells form in the tissues of the brain or spinal cord such as adult brain& spinal cord tumor. But in childhood, uncontrolled growth of cells from the fetal period can also be seen. Brain and spinal cord tumors are the 2nd most common type of cancer in children after leukemia. These tumors can cause severe problems and even death. The most common malignant brain tumor in children is medulloblastoma. This cancer forms in the cerebellum, in the back area of the brain in a region known as the posterior fossa. Of pediatric brain tumors, about half are tumors called gliomas or astrocytomas. They form from glial cells, which make up the supportive tissue of the brain. Gliomas may be benign or malignant and can occur in different areas of the brain and the spinal cord.

Brain Tumor Signs and Symptoms:
– Headache or headache that goes away after vomiting.
– Asthenia- sleeping state or unusual sleepiness or change in activity level.
– Abondan nausea and vomiting.
– Vision, hearing or speech problems.
– Loss of balance and trouble walking.
– Seizures.
– Increase in the head size in infants

Diagnosis of Brain and Spinal Tumors
After physical exam, imaging tests such as magnetic resonance imaging create detailed pictures of the brain or spinal cord. Serum tumor marker test and a lumbar puncture may be performed to look for cancer cells or their markers.
The definitive diagnosis is made by tissue sampling with microsurgery or biopsy.

Treatment of Brain and Spinal Tumors
Surgery is a main treatment for tumors of the brain and spinal cord. Additional treatments for brain and spinal tumors include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapy.

Pediatric medical oncologist is as important as a neurosurgeon. We have been working with Pediatric Oncologist Prof.Dr. Fatma Betül Çakır for 10 years.