Pediatric medulloblastoma is a tumor that typically starts in the brain and spreads through the brain and spinal cord.
Medulloblastomas are the most common central nervous system (CNS) embryonal tumors. CNS tumors occur during development in the womb and remain in the baby’s brain after birth. They are more commonly diagnosed in children under 10 years of age.
Medulloblastomas form in the cerebellum’s brain cells, which control movement, balance and posture. Medulloblastomas are fast-growing tumors that can sometimes spread to the bone, bone marrow, lung or other parts of the body. When the tumor grows, it presses into the brain or spinal cord, preventing it from functioning correctly.
Symptoms can vary, but typically include the following:
Children (from birth to 10 years old)
- Loss of balance or trouble walking
- Trouble with handwriting or speech
- Problems with coordination
- Eye problems, including double vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- General weakness
- Weakness on one side of the face
- Unusual sleepiness
- Change in energy level
Infants and toddlers (age 3 years and under*)
- Growing slowly
- Consistently not eating well
- Failure to meet development milestones like sitting, walking and talking in sentences
*Age of toddlers as defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).