What is Medulloblastoma?

Medulloblastoma is a type of brain tumor in the cerebellum of the brain. It is the most common brain tumor in children. It is also known as primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET). It is a malignant tumor that grows rapidly and spreads to other parts of the brain and spinal cord.

Signs and Symptoms

Medulloblastoma can present with a variety of symptoms depending on the size and location of the tumor. Common symptoms include headaches, nausea, vomiting, balance problems, and changes in behavior. Other symptoms can include double vision, sleepiness, seizures, difficulty walking, unsteadiness, or problems with coordination.

Diagnosis of Medulloblastoma

Diagnosis of Medulloblastoma typically involves a combination of clinical assessment, imaging tests, and biopsy. Imaging tests such as MRI or CT scans are used to create detailed images of the brain to locate the tumor and to determine the extent of it. In some cases, a sample of tumor tissue may be taken for further analysis, called a biopsy.

Treatment for Medulloblastoma

Treatment for medulloblastoma generally consists of a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The goal of the treatment is to remove as much of the tumor as possible without causing damage to surrounding tissue. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are typically used to destroy remaining cancer cells. In some cases, medications may be prescribed to reduce symptoms or slow the growth of the tumor.

Life Expectancy and Prognosis

The prognosis for medulloblastoma depends on the size and location of the tumor, as well as the age of the patient. Overall, the five-year survival rate is 68 percent. With early diagnosis and a well-developed treatment plan, the prognosis can be improved.

Preventing Medulloblastoma

Since the exact cause of medulloblastoma is not known, it is difficult to prevent. However, there are ways to reduce the risk of developing this type of tumor.

  • Avoiding exposure to radiation.
  • Limiting exposure to environmental toxins.
  • Eating a nutritious and healthy diet.
  • Getting regular exercise.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.