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Medulloblastoma Risk Groups

Lumbar Puncture
A lumbar puncture is a procedure that is used to collect cerebrospinal fluid from the spinal column. In order to collect fluid, the doctor will need to place a needle into the spinal column. This procedure is also called an LP or spinal tap.
 
Bone Marrow Biopsy
A bone marrow biopsy is the removal of a small piece of bone and bone marrow by inserting a needle into the hipbone or breastbone. A pathologist (someone who studies diseases) will then view both the bone and the bone marrow samples under a microscope to look for signs of cancer.
 
Bone Scan
A bone scan is a procedure that is used to detect if there are rapidly dividing cells, such as cancer cells, in the bone. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into a vein that travels through the bloodstream. The radioactive material collects in the bones and is detected by a scanner.
 

Specific Medulloblastoma Risk Groups

Risk groups that are used for childhood medulloblastoma include:
 
  • Average risk
  • Poor risk
  • Recurrent medulloblastoma.
     
Average Risk
Childhood medulloblastoma is categorized as average risk if all of the following are true:
 
  • The child is older than 3 years of age
  • The tumor is at the very back of the brain
  • The entire tumor was removed by surgery or there was a very small amount remaining
  • The cancer has not spread to other parts of the body.
     
Poor Risk
Childhood medulloblastoma is categorized as poor risk if any of the following are true:
 
  • The child is younger than 3 years of age
  • The tumor is not at the very back of the brain
  • Some of the tumor was not removed by surgery
  • The cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
     
In general, cancer is more likely to come back in patients who are in the poor risk group.
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Information on Medulloblastoma

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