Understanding Medulloblastoma – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments Explained

Understanding Medulloblastoma – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments Explained

Julie Scott, DNP
Julie Scott, DNP
Medulloblastoma | cancerGO

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.

Symptoms

The symptoms of medulloblastoma can vary depending on the size and location of the tumor, but common symptoms include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness and loss of balance
  • Changes in vision
  • Weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
  • Difficulty walking
  • Seizures
  • Learning and memory problems

Diagnosis

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

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.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with medulloblastoma, it is important to seek the best possible treatment option and have a robust support system throughout the process.

Julie Scott, DNP
Julie Scott, DNP
Julie is an oncology certified Oncology Nurse Practitioner with over a decade of medical oncology experience. In addition to her clinical work, she is an accomplished healthcare writer providing oncology content for various publications. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member for a Master's nursing program and a chair for Doctoral nursing students.

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