What is Medulloblastoma?
Medulloblastoma is a type of cancerous brain tumor. It is a tumor that grows quickly in the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that controls balance and coordination. Medulloblastoma is most commonly found in children, but adults can experience this as well.
The symptoms of medulloblastoma can vary depending on the size and location of the tumor, but common symptoms include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness and loss of balance
- Changes in vision
- Weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
- Difficulty walking
- Learning and memory problems
A diagnosis of medulloblastoma is usually made when someone presents to their healthcare team with the above symptoms. To start the evaluation, imaging studies will likely be ordered. These scans, such as CT or MRI scans, can help see the tumor in the brain. Additional testing may also be done to determine the tumor’s stage and check for the spread of cancer to other parts of the body.
Ultimately, a tumor biopsy will need to be done to determine what the tumor is. The biopsy may be done as part of the surgical treatment or before surgery in a separate procedure.
Treatment for medulloblastoma typically involves a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Surgery is usually the first line of treatment to remove as much of the tumor as possible.
Radiation therapy is used to destroy any remaining cancer cells after surgery and to prevent the tumor from coming back.
Chemotherapy kills cancer cells that may have spread to other body parts.
Medulloblastoma is a type of brain cancer that can be difficult to treat. However, with new advancements in medical technology, more options are available for treatment than ever before.