Overview of medulloblastoma
Medulloblastoma is a cancerous (malignant) brain tumor that begins in the lower back of the brain and is called the cerebellum. The cerebellum participates in the coordination, balance, and movement of muscles.
Medulloblastoma spreads through the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the fluid that surrounds and protects your brain and spinal cord, to other areas around the brain and spinal cord. The tumor rarely spreads to other parts of the body.
Medulloblastoma is a type of embryonal tumor, a tumor that begins in the cells of the fetus (embryo) in the brain. There are at least four subtypes of medulloblastoma, based on different types of genetic mutations. Although medulloblastoma is not inherited, syndromes such as Gorlin syndrome or Turquoise syndrome increase the risk of medulloblastoma.
The signs and symptoms of medulloblastoma can include headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, double vision, poor coordination, erratic gait, and other types of anxiety. These symptoms may be related to the tumor or may be due to increased stress on the brain.
Medulloblastoma can occur at any age, but it occurs most often in young children. Although medulloblastoma is very rare, it is the most common cancerous brain tumor in children. The centre, which has a team of paediatricians with knowledge and experience in pediatric brain tumors, needs to care for children, with the latest technologies and treatments available.
Signs and symptoms of medulloblastoma
Sometimes brain cells grow and form tumors in a way that they shouldn’t. A tumor in the cerebellum increases pressure within the brain when it presses on other parts of the brain. As stress increases, it begins to cause symptoms. These can last from a few weeks to a few months worse.
Symptoms observed by parents:
- Headache at night or in the morning.
- Difficulty to walk
- Dual focus
Risk factors for medulloblastoma
Any risk factor that increases the chance of developing medulloblastoma. Even if the cause of medulloblastoma is not known, some things increase your risk.
- Age: Most cases of medulloblastoma are diagnosed before the age of 16, and usually between the ages of 3 and 8. In adults, it rarely appears after age 40.
- Gender: Medulloblastoma is more common in children than in women. In adults, it is more common in men than in women.
- Genetic conditions: People with cancer-predisposing syndromes such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Turquoise syndrome, and need basal cell carcinoma syndrome (Gorlin syndrome) are more likely to develop medulloblastoma.
Diagnosis of medulloblastoma
The diagnostic process usually begins with a review of your medical history and a discussion of signs and symptoms. Tests and procedures used to diagnose medulloblastoma:
- Neurological examination: During this process, vision, hearing, balance, coordination, and reflexes are assessed. It helps to identify which part of the brain may be affected by the tumor.
- Imaging tests: Imaging tests can help determine the location and size of a brain tumor. These tests are also very important in detecting stress or blockage of the CSF pathways. Computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be done right away. These tests are often used to diagnose brain tumors. Advanced techniques such as perfusion MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy can also be used.
- Tissue sampling (biopsy): A biopsy is not usually done, but imaging tests are recommended if they are not typical for a medullary blastoma. Suspicious tissue samples are analyzed in the laboratory to determine cell types.
- Cerebrospinal fluid collection (pelvic puncture) for examination: Also known as a lumbar puncture, this procedure involves inserting a needle between two bones in the lower part of the spine to extract cerebrospinal fluid around the spine. The fluid is tested for tumor cells or other abnormalities. This test is done only after the stress has been maintained on the brain or the tumor has been removed.
Treatment of medulloblastoma usually involves radiation or chemotherapy or both after surgery. Age and general health, tumor subtype and location, tumor grade and extent, and other factors influence treatment decisions. Options:
- Relieve the accumulation of fluid in the brain: A medulloblastoma grows to block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, causing fluid to form that puts pressure on the brain (hydrocephalus). Surgery (external ventricular canal or ventriculoperitoneal shunt) that creates a path for fluid to leave the brain may be recommended. Sometimes this procedure can be combined with surgery to remove the tumor.
- Surgery to remove the medulloblastoma: The pediatric or adult neurosurgeon (neurosurgeon) removes the tumor, taking care not to damage nearby tissues. But sometimes the tumor cannot be completely removed because of medulloblastoma forms near complex structures deep in the brain. All patients with this diseaseshould receive additional treatments after surgery.
- Radiotherapy: A pediatric or adult radiation oncologist performs radiation therapy to the brain and spinal cord using high-energy rays, such as X-rays or protons, to kill cancer cells. Standard radiation therapy can be used, but proton beam therapy, available at a limited number of major healthcare centres in the United States, provides highly targeted radiation to brain tumors, reducing radiation exposure in the brain. nearby healthy tissue.
- Chemotherapy: It uses chemotherapy drugs to kill tumor cells. Usually, children and adults with this disease receive these drugs by injection into a vein (intravenous chemotherapy). Chemotherapy may be recommended after surgery or radiation therapy or, in some cases, as radiation therapy. In some cases, stem cell rescue (transplantation of stem cells with the patient’s own stem cells) may be used after high-dose chemotherapy.
- Clinical trials: Clinical trials register eligible participants to study the effectiveness of new therapies or to study new approaches to using existing therapies, such as combining time with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. These studies provide an opportunity to test the latest treatment options, even if the risk of side effects is unknown. Talk to your doctor for advice.