Childhood Brain Cancer
The human brain is the “cockpit” or “command center” for the central nervous system; it is also, despite its critical role in every aspect of human life, one of the most delicate organs in the human body. Any abnormal growth or tumour in the brain, whether cancerous or non-cancerous, can cause serious damage to healthy brain tissue and impact the body’s ability to function normally rather significantly.
Treating a brain tumour/brain cancer therefore means taking the following into consideration:
- How to best remove or eliminate the tumour ;
- How to relieve symptoms caused by the tumour ;
- How to minimise damage to the healthy tissue of the brain
As with all types of childhood cancer, each child’s treatment plan will be unique, based on his or her specific type of cancer; for brain tumours, the treatment plan will depend specifically on the type of tumour, the size and location of the tumour, the grade of the tumour, and the impact of the tumour on healthy brain tissue. In general, however, treatment for brain tumours in children generally involves three types of treatment:
Whenever possible, the first line of treatment will be surgery – the goal being to remove all, or at least most of, the tumour. Radiation and/or chemotherapy may follow surgery in order to eliminate any remaining tumour cells that could not be removed during the surgery and/or to prevent the tumour from re-growing if possible.
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