Brain Tumors In Toddlers – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

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Do you find that your toddler’s growth and development is not on par with his age? Does your toddler have any visible disabilities? Does his abnormal behavior concern you? If you answered yes, you might want to seek immediate medical assistance. He may be suffering from a brain tumor. But, don’t panic yet! Read on and learn all about brain tumors in toddlers here.

A brain tumor is a disconcerting health condition. Left undetected, a brain tumor can swiftly become life-threatening. Every year, more than 2,000 toddlers contract the condition. Toddlers suffering from brain tumor exhibit long-term impairment to neurological and intellectual functions. It is thus necessary to know of warning signs and symptoms of brain tumor in toddlers.

Causes Of Brain Tumors In Toddlers:

Research has not been able to determine the cause of most brain or spinal cord tumors. Some research links mutations and changes in brain cells to the onset of brain tumors.

Symptoms Of Brain Tumor In Toddlers:

Here are few common signs of brain tumor in toddlers to watch out for:

1. Headaches:

Headache is the most common symptom of the brain tumor. However, not all toddlers with headaches suffer from brain tumors. Certain specific headache patterns signify the presence of the brain tumors. Headaches that occur while your toddler wakes up in the morning, while coughing, performing an exercise, changing the body position, and while sleeping indicate the presence of a brain tumor (1).

[ Read: Epilepsy In Toddlers ]

2. Psychological symptoms:

Sometimes the only signs and symptoms of a brain tumor in the toddlers are psychological changes. They are as follows.

  • Inability To Concentrate:

Toddlers suffering from brain tumor find it difficult to perform activities, such as studying, playing, singing, and other activities, with concentration.

  • Increased Sleep: 

A substantial increase in the sleeping time of the toddler is another prominent symptom of the development of brain tumor. Toddlers with brain tumors tend to sleep for long hours.

  • Personality Or Behavioral Change: 

There is a marked change in the personality and behavior of the toddler who suffers from a brain tumor. You can spot problems with the reasoning ability of the toddler.

  • Memory Loss:

Brain tumor also affects a toddler’s memory. You will notice that your toddler tends to forget simple things and various incidences.

3. Physical Symptoms:

Besides psychological symptoms and headaches, there are various physical and visual symptoms of a tumor in toddlers (2).

  • Gradual Loss Of Movement In Limbs:

If your toddler has a brain tumor, he may experience a gradual loss of movement or a disability in an arm or a leg.

  • Hearing Loss: 

Brain tumor also affects the hearing ability of the toddler. As a result, your toddler may suffer from hearing loss, often accompanied by dizziness.

[ Read: Symptoms Of Hearing Loss In Toddlers ]

  • Difficulty Speaking: 

Brain tumor hampers the toddler’s ability to speak. The toddler may find it difficult to speak, even if he has all ideas ready in his mind and eagerly wishes to express them in the words.

  • Unexpected Vision Issues: 

Vision loss in one or both the eyes or Double vision is another prominent sign of a brain tumor.

  • Balancing Problem: 

A toddler suffering from a brain tumor finds it difficult to balance his body as he walks and performs various regular activities.

  • Numbness Or Weakness: 

A feeling of weakness or numbness in certain body parts can also indicate the presence of a brain tumor.

[ Read: Heart Murmur In Toddlers ]

Treating A Toddler Brain Tumor:

Treating a brain tumor is a lengthy process, but the presence of modern treatments makes it easier (3).

1. Surgery:

Surgical resection involves the removal of a brain tumor. The surgery helps remove the abnormal accumulation of tumor cells while retaining the neurological functions. In some cases, the location of the tumor may rule surgery out. In these cases, partial removal is an effective option. Surgeons install a shunt to regular the mounting intracerebral pressure.

2. Chemotherapy:

Chemotherapy is a go-to treatment for tumors. It involves the use of Vincristine. In surgical cases of partial excision, chemotherapy helps destroy any residual tumor cells.

3. Radiotherapy:

Radiotherapy uses high energy waves to treat a brain tumor. It features lesser sessions than chemotherapy and targets the affected brain area to prevent any collateral damage to healthy tissues.

[ Read: Down Syndrome In Toddlers ]

4. Medications:

Medications can also help relieve pressure due to the swollen brain. Remedial diuretics like Mannitol and urea help minimize swelling and pressure.

If your toddler exhibits any of the above symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. Early and appropriate treatment helps cure a brain tumor effectively.

We hope you find this article informative and useful. Do you have any experiences to share? Tell us below. Leave a comment.

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