Medulloblastoma

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Medulloblastoma is one of the most common pediatric brain tumors, accounting for 15% to 20% of all brain tumors in children. Medulloblastoma usually occurs in children between ages 3 and 8, but could be seen in children or adults of any age.

The board-certified pediatric hematology/oncology specialists with Norton Children’s Cancer Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, have the training and experience to treat children with medulloblastoma.

What Is Medulloblastoma?

Medulloblastoma is a tumor in the cerebellum. The cerebellum is the part of the brain that controls coordination, balance and complex motor functions. The condition most often occurs in the central part of the cerebellum. In many cases, it is unknown why medulloblastoma develops. For some children, medulloblastoma is associated with inheritable conditions, such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Gorlin syndrome and Turcot syndrome.

Symptoms

Brain tumors such as medulloblastoma can cause a variety of symptoms in children based on age and location of the tumor. Symptoms can resemble other more common conditions or medical issues. Each child will experience symptoms differently, but common medulloblastoma symptoms can include:

  • Back pain
  • Bowel and bladder control issues
  • Changes in personality or behavior
  • Double vision
  • Fatigue
  • Headache, generally when waking up in the morning
  • Loss of strength in the lower extremities
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck tilt
  • Issues with balance and coordination
  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty with motor skills, such as grasping, eating, dressing, holding a pencil, etc.
  • Seizures

Medulloblastoma Treatment

The specialists with Norton Children’s Cancer Institute will work with you and your child to develop a treatment plan unique to your child’s condition. The treatment plan will be based on:

  • The child’s age, current health and medical history
  • Location, size and type of tumor
  • Current status of the disease
  • Tolerance for medications, therapies and procedures
  • The expected course of the condition

Children with medulloblastoma may need to be treated by specialists from across the Norton Children’s network, including neurosurgery, neuro-oncology, neurology, radiation oncology and more. Treatments can include:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy

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