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Brain Tumor Facts and Glossary

Glossary

April 10, 2013
This glossary contains definitions of terms you may encounter relating to childhood cancer or that you may come across on this website.

What New Treatments Can We Expect in the Future?

April 10, 2013
New TreatmentsMany children’s tumor specialists are excited about treatments currently being researched and developed. They expect to see advances in several areas: less traumatic surgeries, new chemotherapeutic drugs and combinations of drugs that effectively could replace surgery and...

Cells of the Brain and Spinal Cord

April 10, 2013
Cells of the Brain and Spinal CordLike all living tissue, the brain and spinal cord are made up of cells, which in turn have characteristics and names unique to their function. The cells unique to the central nervous system are neurons and neuroglia.

Facts About the Brain and Spinal Cord

April 10, 2013
As you read this Web site, you do many things simultaneously. Your eyes are moving from left to right; you are holding the computer mouse and keyboard. You may be shifting in your chair. You may be aware of others in the room. You could also be listening to music and drinking a cup of tea or coffee...

Structures of the Spinal Cord

April 10, 2013
We discussed the spinal cord above (under “Brain and Nervous System Basics”) and explained that it extends from the brain and has the same layers (meninges) and CSF surrounding it (see Figure 4). The spinal cord makes up two thirds of the CNS and is a pathway for nerve impulses. Sensory...

Structures of the Brain

April 10, 2013
This article takes a detailed look at the structures of the brain and what function various parts serve. From the outside, the most obvious parts of the brain are

Brain and Nervous System Basics

April 10, 2013
Together, the brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system, also referred to as the CNS. The network of nerves that connects the CNS to the arms, legs, eyes, ears, and other organs is called the peripheral nervous system (PNS). We are usually aware of our legs and arms moving and can...

Ependymomas Defined

April 10, 2013
Ependymoma belongs to a group of brain tumors called gliomas. A glioma is a tumor that grows from a glial cell, which is a supportive cell in the brain. Ependymoma can occur in any part of the brain or spine, but most commonly occurs in the cerebrum, the largest part of the brain. Ependymoma start...

Craniopharyngioma Defined

April 10, 2013
A craniopharyngioma is a slow-growing tumor that can grow for many years before being found.

Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumors Defined

April 10, 2013
Primitive neuroectodermal tumors, or PNETs, account for approximately 5% of pediatric brain tumors. They are a group of highly malignant tumors composed of small round cells of neuroectodermal origin that affect soft tissue and boneTypes:

Ganglioglioma Defined

April 10, 2013
A ganglioglioma, also called gangliocytomas or ganglioneuromas, arise in ganglia-type cells, which are nerve cells.  They most commonly occur in the temporal lobe of the cerebral hemispheres, the third ventricle and less commonly in the spine.  They are well-defined tumors with distinct...

Gliomas Defined

April 10, 2013
The glioma tumor, although not exactly the same, is very similar to an astrocytoma brain tumor and the names are often used interchangeably.  Please refer to our definition of astrocytomas for a detailed explanation of this tumor.

Choroid Plexus Tumor Defined

April 10, 2013
The choroid plexus is located within the ventricles of the brain and produces cerebral spinal fluid.  A choroid plexus tumor arises in this location of the brain. They account for approximately 1-3% of pediatric brain tumors and are most common in infants.Types:

Optic Pathway Tumors Defined

April 10, 2013
Optic pathway tumors involve the optic nerve, which sends messages from the eye to the brain.  They are usually slow growing.  The visual pathway and/or hypothalmus are often affected.Symptoms:

Medulloblastomas Defined

April 10, 2013
Medullablastomas are fast-growing tumors that form in brain cells in the cerebellum. The cerebellum is at the lower back part of the brain between thecereand the brain stem. The cerebellum controls movement, balance, and posture.

Brain Stem Gliomas Defined

April 10, 2013
A glioma is a tumor that grows from glial cells, a supportive cell in the brain.  Brain stem glioma grows specifically in the brain stem which is the part of the brain that controls many of the body’s basic functions, such as motor skills, sensory activity, coordination and walking, the...

Optic Nerve Glioma Defined

April 10, 2013
A glioma is a tumor that grows from glial cells, which are supportive cells in the brain.  Optic nerve gliomas grow specifically in the optic nerve which is the part of the brain that connects the eye to the visual center of the brain.  Optic nerve glioma can effect one or both optic...

Germ Cell Tumors Defined

April 10, 2013
Germ cell tumors, also called germinomas, embroynal carcinomas, endodermal sinus tumors and teratoma, arise in the pineal or suprasellar region of the brain.  They are most often diagnosed around the time of puberty and are more common in boys than girls.Symptoms:In the case of suprasellar...

Atypical Teritoid/Rhabdoid Tumor

April 10, 2013
Atypical teritoid/rhabdoid tumors (ATRT) are rare, high-grade tumors that occur most commonly in children under the age of 2.  They can be found in any part of the brain and tend to be aggressive.  They spread throughout the central nervous system.Symptoms:

Oligodendroglioma Defined

April 10, 2013
Oligodendrogliomas occur in the oligodenrocytes, a type of supportive brain tissue.  They are most commonly found in the cerebral lobes of the brain.  They tend to occur in young and middle aged adults with a small population of children being diagnosed each year.  Pure...

How Are Brain Tumors Usually Treated?

April 10, 2013
This article takes a look at the many options for cancer and brain tumor treatment including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotheropy, and other drugs treatments. Surgery

How Are Brain Tumors Diagnosed?

April 10, 2013
Brain tumors are often difficult to diagnose because their signs and symptoms may mimic those of other disorders. Symptoms will also vary according to the exact location of the tumor. For example, many childhood brain tumors cause vomiting. However, there are other much more likely causes of...

What Brain Tumors Are Common in Children?

April 10, 2013
Most childhood tumors (more than 60%) are located in the posterior fossa (the back compartment of the brain). This area is separated from the cerebral hemispheres by a tough membrane called the tentorium. The posterior fossa includes the cerebellum, the brainstem, and the fourth ventricle. Tumors...

What Is a Tumor, and What Makes Brain Tumors Different From Other Tumors?

April 10, 2013
A tumor is any abnormal mass in or on the body that is caused by abnormal cells growing and multiplying in an uncontrolled way. Doctors also call a tumor a neoplasm.

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