Brain tumours are the most common solid tumour in children under the age of 15.
When discovered early enough, brain tumours are usually treatable. Many that are slow-growing are cured with surgery alone. Other types that are faster-growing might need additional treatment with radiation therapy or chemotherapy, or both.
Brain tumours are graded on a scale of 1 to 4, based on how malignant, or cancerous, they are – that is, how abnormal their cells appear under a microscope.
A grade of 1 is the least malignant, and 4 is the most malignant.
A tumour may contain cells of different grades, but it is classified by its highest-grade cells.
The purpose of the brain tumour grading system is to indicate the tumour’s likely growth rate and how likely it is to spread within the brain– information used in predicting outcomes and treatment planning.
Brain tumours are graded and classified by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Grades are often assigned to gliomas, which are tumours that develop in the supporting glial cells of the brain or spine. Gliomas make up about 30% of all brain and central nervous system tumours, and about 80% of all malignant brain tumours.
The most common malignant brain tumours are glioblastomas.
Childhood Brain Tumours are different to Adult Brain Tumours because their brains are still growing and developing.
This means that the side effects that childhood cancer sufferers experience will generally be unique to their age and stage of development.
The side-effects of a brain tumour can be taxing on both the child and the parents, as well as the family and even teachers and classmates.
It is important therefore that you take note of how your child is feeling and what problems they are experiencing and that you talk to them about it – remember though that they may not feel like discussing what they are going through.
It is also important the you discuss any side-effects with their oncology team, who should be able to help or refer you to professionals who can help.
It is vital that Children with Cancer, including Children with Brain Cancer, eat well-balanced, nutritional meals and snacks in order to maintain their weight, rebuild any tissue lost in treatment, and strengthen their immune system and power it to fight against the brain cancer.
The occurrence of malnutrition in children with childhood tumours is multifactorial and develops during therapy for cancer in 40-80% of children. Malnutrition is more commonly seen in patients with advanced neuroblastoma, Wilms tumour, Ewing sarcoma and advanced lymphomas.
Malnutrition is usually more severe with aggressive tumours in the later stages of malignancy. Children who have a poor nutritional status have lower survival rates compared to those with a good nutritional status.
The majority of childhood cancers are treated by combined modality therapy, including surgery, radiotherapy, and antineoplastic schedules commonly providing a
variety of side effects, which may lead a child into a state of nutritional deprivation.
Each of these treatment modalities may produce injuries to major organ systems (liver and pancreas), and a combination of therapies could result in a synergism of adverse effects.
Multimodality therapies combined with the effects of the tumour itself affect nutritional status and damage rapidly growing cells, e.g., in the gastrointestinal tract, causing serious and undesirable symptoms. Read the rest of this entry
Brain tumours can be either primary (develop in the brain) or secondary (cancer from another part of the body spreads to the brain).
A primary brain tumour occurs when abnormal cells form in the tissues of the brain.
Brain tumours are the most common type of tumour that develops in children, and they can affect children of any age.
The brain and spinal cord are closely linked and together they form the Central Nervous System (CNS). The spinal cord connects the brain with nerves in virtually every part of the human body. The brain controls many vital bodily functions.
The brain consists of three major parts:
- The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain. It sits at the top of the head and controls learning, emotions, thinking, speech, reading, writing, and voluntary movement.
- The cerebellum is the lower back part of the brain and lies near the middle of the back of the head. It controls balance, movement and posture
- The brain stem is the lowest part of the brain and is situated just above the back of the neck. It connects the brain to the spinal cord and controls heart rate, breathing, and all the muscles you use to walk, talk, hear, see, and eat
Malignant brain tumours grow rapidly and are likely to spread into other areas of the brain very quickly. When a tumour grows into or creates pressure on part of the brain it may cause that part of the brain to stop functioning the way it should.
May is International Brain Cancer Awareness Month, but what does that really mean? Do YOU know anything about Brain Cancer? Do YOU know what happens to a Child with Brain Cancer? Have you got ANY idea of what a Child with Brain Cancer experiences, or what their parents go through as they watch their offspring battle Brain Cancer?
Children should be able to be children – to run around and play without care, and to learn as they grow, both at school and through learning via socialising, play and good parenting. When a child gets brain cancer, most of this goes out of the window, as the tumour grows and affects the areas of the brain that control speech, sight, balance, personality/emotions, language, understanding, and sensation.
It is heart-breaking for any parent to watch their child lose all that they have learned to do as they grew and going backwards day by day in everything that makes them who they are. It is difficult to deal with a child who has mood swings and goes from being an angelic youngster to being a total rebel who has become uncontrollable; to care for a child who has become a little adult and to watch them going back to being a helpless infant who cannot dress themselves, feed themselves, control their bladder, keep themselves entertained; and who doesn’t understand what is going on… Read the rest of this entry
Scientists might have found a way to activate the body’s “natural killer T cells” in the fight against cancer. The findings might lead to more effective treatments that stop cancer from spreading.
A new study, Dual Modifications of α-Galactosylceramide Synergize to Promote Activation of Human Invariant Natural Killer T Cells and Stimulate Anti-tumor Immunity which has recently been published in the journal Cell Chemical Biology — was led by chemistry professor Amy Howell, from the University of Connecticut in Mansfield.
Prof. Howell and her team sought a compound that would activate human immune cells called Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells for any years.
iNKT cells give our immune system crucial ammunition in the fight against infections but also against illnesses such as cancer, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.
Most of us know that fruit is good for us, and most of us even know that various berries contain certain compounds that are extra healthy, but could berries really help fight cancer?
Speak to any “health-nut” and they will say definitely, berries are the way to go for everything health-wise but it is not that clear-cut as to whether berries are as beneficial in combating cancer as one might think.
While nobody can dispute the fact that berries are extremely healthy, when it comes to cancer studies, some laboratory animal studies have offered hope, while observational studies in humans have not been so encouraging.
Let’s face it, a lovely colourful bowl full of berries is very pleasing to the eye, and to the palate too, and this is partially due to their pigments, or anthocyanins, which are particularly prevalent in blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and blackcurrants.
Little Fighter Kenzo Phillips was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) in February 2016, at a mere 8 months of age.
Kenzo has gone through much in his short lifespan, including harsh chemotherapy treatments, and has seen more hospitals and doctors than any child should…
Earlier this month LFCT celebrated with Kenzo and his family at the news that, after his annual 4 weekly check-up – a full month after his final chemo treatment – His blood counts were perfect and the doctors were very happy – his Bone Marrow Biopsy also came back CLEAR!!!!!
Cancer is fickle however, and a mere FIVE DAYS later Kenzo was rushed to hospital with a terrible headache & vomiting.
Cancer is Not a Singular Experience, It’s Plural!
Whether it is adult cancer or Childhood Cancer, no matter how much it feels as if we are going through it alone, nothing could be further from the truth!
When an individual is diagnosed with cancer, it doesn’t only affect that specific individual, it affects many, and this is never truer than when it is a child that has been diagnosed with cancer.
The child is not the only one going through everything that this horrible disease causes – the parents, siblings, other family members and friends of the child and parents also experience it.