CareTalk Blog: Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders

CareTalk: Blog for Cancer and Blood Disorders

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Brain Tumors

Brain tumors are the most common solid tumors in children and can occur at any age. If you’ve just learned your child may have a brain tumor, we know you want the best care possible. Nemours’ pediatric oncology experts will do whatever it takes to offer supportive, compassionate, high-quality care for brain tumors in children, from diagnosis through treatment — and beyond.

 
Read More About Brain Tumors in Children

Not all brain tumors in children are cancerous. By definition, brain tumors are masses of abnormal cells, however, even those that are not cancerous (referred to as benign) can still be dangerous depending on where in the brain and how large they are. Your child’s doctor can discuss the possibility of surgical removal.

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington


1600 Rockland Road
Wilmington, DE 19803
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For Appointments: (302) 651-4200

Seeing Multiple Specialists?

Our Patient Navigators can help schedule multiple appointments on the same day at the same location.

(800) 451-2854

 
What to Bring
  • photo ID
  • medical and pharmacy insurance cards
  • preferred pharmacy name and phone number
  • names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
  • guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
New Patients

Bring these forms for your first appointment:

Returning Patients
 
Forms & Resources
New Patient Forms
Returning Patient Forms
Resources for Patients & Families
Cancer Information for Families

At Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, our pediatric specialists care for benign (not cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) brain tumors in children.

Whatever kind of brain tumor your child might have, know that at Nemours we do whatever it takes to give your child the very best, most compassionate care possible. We’ll be there to help your child and your family every step of the way.

Diagnosing Brain Tumors in Children

If your child has a possible brain tumor, Nemours’ pediatric oncologists will perform a complete physical examination and medical history, and may order several other diagnostic tests and procedures including:

  • neurological examination (to check your child’s reflexes, mouth and eye movement, muscle strength, and coordination)
  • X-ray
  • myelogram (an X-ray of the spine)
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • bone scan (a test to visually see into the bones themselves)
  • CT scan (computed tomography)
  • PET scan (positron emission tomography)
  • biopsy (taking a sample of cells or tissues for examination)
  • lower-back area of the spinal cord)

Watch videos from Nemours’ KidsHealth.org about many of these common tests.

Treating Brain Tumors in Children

Depending on age, overall health, extent of the disease, and other factors, treatment of brain tumors in children may include one or a combination of:

  • chemotherapy — medicine that kills cancer cells
  • radiation therapy — using radiation to kill cancer cells
  • blood or bone marrow transplant (also sometimes called a BMT, BBMT, stem cell transplant, or cord blood transplant)
  • medications such as antibiotics or steroids (corticosteroids, made from a naturally occurring steroid, are used to kill cancer cells, shrink tumors and decrease swelling — not the performance-enhancing anabolic steroids that make news in the sports world)
  • blood transfusions
  • neurosurgery — such as a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt (a small device surgically placed in the head to drain excess fluid from inside the brain)

If we find that a brain tumor is malignant (cancerous), Nemours’ oncologists will guide the care team in helping treat the tumor. If a brain tumor is benign (non-cancerous), a neurosurgeon will take the lead to figure out the best
treatment options.