Pediatric Brain Tumor Signs & Symptoms

Pediatric neurologist and neuro-oncologist Yasmin Khakoo

Different parts of the brain affect different functions in the body, such as movement, vision, and speech. Since there’s limited space within the skull, signs and symptoms of a brain tumor typically develop when abnormal tissue expands and destroys or pushes on healthy brain tissue, the tissue around the tumor swells, or the tumor interferes with the normal flow of fluid around the brain and spinal cord.

Symptoms from pediatric brain tumors vary widely, depending upon the tumor’s location and size.

  • Tumors at the base of the brain often cause headaches, vomiting, and behavioral changes because they block the normal passage of cerebrospinal fluids, causing the pressure within the head to rise.
  • Tumors near the surface of the brain may cause seizures.
  • Tumors arising at the brain stem often cause weakness in the structures of the head and neck.

Keep in mind that symptoms of a brain tumor often resemble those caused by other diseases. If your child experiences these symptoms and you have concerns, speak with your doctor.