A craniopharyngioma is a slow-growing tumor that can grow for many years before being found. It can be solid and/or cystic (a closed pouch or sac that contains fluid), and it may contain calcified nodules (a growth or lump that has hardened due to deposits of calcium). A cystic tumor may also contain some solid material or debris and often contains very high amounts of protein. It is normally found near the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, the areas of the brain that control hormones.
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 beating of the heart, and breathing. Brain stem glioma is most often diffused (spread freely) through the brain stem by the time of diagnosis. This type of tumor is typically very aggressive, meaning that it grows and spreads quickly.
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 in the ependymal cells that line the ventricles (fluid-filled spaces) in the brain and the central canal of the spinal cord.
The brain and spinal column make up the central nervous system (CNS), where all vital functions are controlled, including thought, speech, and body strength.
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.
Childhood astrocytomas, also called gliomas, are tumors that form in cells called astrocytes. They can be low-grade or high-gradetumors. The grade of the tumor describes how abnormal the cancer cells look under a microscope and how quickly the tumor is likely to grow and spread. High-grade astrocytomas are fast-growing, malignant tumors. Low-grade astrocytomas are slow-growing tumors that are less likely to be malignant.