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Ependymoma

A tumor that forms in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord is called ependymoma. Its cause is unknown, and symptoms vary, depending on the child's age and where the tumor is located; however, common ones can include nausea and difficulty walking. Treatment options for this type of tumor include chemotherapy and surgery.

What Is Ependymoma?

Ependymoma is a type of tumor that forms in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord. The brain controls vital functions, such as:
 
  • Memory and learning
  • The senses (hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch)
  • Emotion.
 
The spinal cord is made up of bundles of nerve fibers that connect the brain with nerves in most parts of the body. Although cancer is rare in children, brain tumors are the most common type of childhood cancer other than leukemia and lymphoma. Approximately 1 out of 11 childhood brain tumors are ependymomas.
 

What Causes It?

No one knows the exact causes of ependymoma, and doctors can seldom explain why one person will get the disease and another person will not.
 

Symptoms of Ependymoma

Symptoms of ependymoma vary, depending on the child's age and where the tumor is located. Common symptoms include:
 
  • Frequent headaches
  • Seizures
  • Frequent nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of balance or trouble walking.
     
These possible symptoms are not sure signs of a brain tumor, however. Other health problems can also cause these symptoms. Children with possible symptoms of ependymoma should see a doctor as soon as possible, because only a doctor can diagnose and treat the problem.
 
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Ependymoma Brain Tumor

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