Brain tumours can grow in the tissue inside the skull or the spinal column of the central nervous system. Those that originate in the brain (primary brain tumours) can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Those that begin as cancer in the body and then spread to the brain are called metastatic brain tumours.
A tumour can destroy or disrupt healthy cell function. It can put pressure on sensitive tissue and block the flow of blood and other fluid, causing pain and inflammation. A tumour can also block normal nerve signalling to and from the brain. Symptoms can include:
- nausea and vomiting
- abnormal eye movements
- blurred vision
- change in behaviour, personality, balance and coordination
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
Diagnosis is based on:
- Medical history
- CT, MRI, PET scans
- Surgical biopsy
- Pysical and neurological examination
Usually, benign tumours can be removed and seldom grow back or spread to other parts of the body. However, benign tumours can press on sensitive areas of the brain and cause serious health problems. They are sometimes life-threatening and can become malignant.
Treatment options for children include regular monitoring of the tumour via MRI scan, surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a combination of treatments. Children who can’t have surgery usually receive radiation therapy or other treatment such as steroids to reduce swelling caused by the tumour.
Surgical techniques have improved significantly in recent decades. We are using minimal-invasive approaches and micro-neurosurgery to achieve excellent results. The latest equipment including operation microscopes, fluorescence imaging, advanced neuro‐endoscopic equipment, neuronavigation for pinpoint accuracy is being ulitised.
- Some confusion and neurological deficits – depending on the area of the tumour and type of treatment needed.
- Radiation/ chemo therapy
- Follow up MRI
- Possible follow up surgery
- Occupational therapy
- Psychological support as needed to deal with the impact of having a brain tumour
- Pain medication as required
- We recommend a support group for children and families
- Speech therapy.