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Medulloblastoma

Characteristics

  • A type of primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET) (see below)
  • Often located in the cerebellum or near the brain stem
  • Can spread to the spinal cord through the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
  • May obstruct the fourth ventricle, causing hydrocephalus (water on the brain)
  • Occurs most often in children under the age of ten, but may occur in adults
  • Slightly more common in males than females

 
Symptoms

  • Headaches
  • Early morning vomiting
  • Lethargy or sleepiness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Double vision
  • Behavioral or personality changes
  • Signs of pressure seen behind the eye when examined with an ophthalmoscope

 
Treatment

 
Surgery is the standard treatment when possible. Chemotherapy is usually part of the treatment plan. Radiation of the brain and spine is often recommended in adults and children over three years of age. A shunt may be needed to treat hydrocephalus. This tumor may recur years later if not totally resected.

National Brain Tumor Society

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