The signs and symptoms of craniopharyngioma in childhood are similar to those of other childhood cancers. These tumors usually develop in the mid-to-late teens. Symptoms and treatment options may vary from child to child, but in general, a patient with a craniopharyngioma should be evaluated by a physician with extensive experience in pediatric cancer.
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Craniopharyngiomas typically affect children ages five to fourteen, but it can occur in any age group. Treatment for craniopharyngioma in childhood starts with the removal of the tumor. The surgeon may have to cut a temporary hole in the child's skull and may place a drainage tube to remove the excess fluid. If the tumor is causing water to collect on the brain, radiation therapy is needed.
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Although there is no known cause for craniopharyngioma in childhood, symptoms can be similar to other childhood conditions. Often, children will experience a headache, and some may have difficulty sleeping. The doctor may also want to perform a thorough examination. If your child has these symptoms, they should see a pediatrician. The condition is usually harmless. When the tumor grows, it can put pressure on other areas of the brain and affect a child's behavior and hormone levels.
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Patients with craniopharyngioma may have difficulty breathing. They may have trouble talking or swallowing. In such cases, a physician may recommend radiation therapy. While radiation therapy is the preferred treatment for craniopharyngioma in childhood, many survivors will also require hormone replacement. Ultimately, the survival rate for craniopharyngioma is approximately 80% in the United States.
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If a child has any of the signs and symptoms of craniopharyngioma in childhood, it's important to seek a diagnosis as soon as possible. The symptoms of craniopharyngiom in childhood include: (a) Ataxia and hydrocephalus. It can disrupt brain functions, and sometimes even prevent the child from growing properly. It is important to schedule a visit with a pediatrician to determine whether a craniopharyngioma in youth is present.
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Some children may have a craniopharyngioma in childhood. These tumors are very rare and may develop over several years. The symptoms of craniopharyngioma in children will vary based on the size and location of the tumor. During your child's first visit to the doctor, your child will be asked about these symptoms. He or she will be assessed by the doctor by measuring his or her head circumference.
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When craniopharyngioma in childhood is diagnosed, a child's doctor will determine the type of tumor that's present. Most craniopharyngioma in children are benign and can be easily diagnosed with a neurosurgeon. However, some symptoms may indicate a recurring or malignant tumor. Your doctor will likely recommend a biopsy if you suspect a craniopharyngioma.
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While craniopharyngioma in childhood is rare, the symptoms can last for years. The tumors often compress optic nerves, the pituitary stalk, and the hypothalamus. They may also obstruct the cerebral spinal fluid pathways. In this case, your child may develop hydrocephalus and papilledema. As the tumor grows, it can enlarge the circumference of the head.
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Most common craniopharyngiomas in children will present similar symptoms as other childhood conditions. Its appearance will vary based on the size and location of the tumor. Depending on the size of the tumor, it may be symptomatic or inactive. The doctor may also monitor your child's weight and height to rule out other causes of the enlarged head. In addition to the typical symptoms, your child's physician may also order a MRI, which will help determine whether a craniopharyngioma is affecting brain function.
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Most children with craniopharyngioma will experience no visible symptoms. In severe cases, they may suffer from headaches that are caused by pressure on the meningea. If the tumor is too large to be surgically removed, radiation therapy may be necessary to shrink the tumor.
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Symptoms of craniopharyngioma in childhood are unpredictable. The most common symptoms include pain, fever, vomiting, and nausea. If the child does not have any of these symptoms, it will be diagnosed with craniopharyngioma in a timely manner.