Brain Cancer In Children In Singapore

Brain Cancer In Children In Singapore

Brain cancer in children

Brain Cancer In Children

Approximately 150 children are diagnosed with cancer each year in Singapore, based on a SingHealth article.  Of these, brain tumours are one of the most common form of solid tumours in children. Data from the Singapore Cancer Registry show that central nervous systems (CNS) tumours were the second most frequently occurring cancer in children (behind leukemia, a “non-solid” tumour), accounting for 18.3% of childhood tumours. Tumours in growing organs, e.g. brain, kidney, liver, and nervous system, are more common in for younger children (infants and toddlers), compared to adolescents, among whom bone, muscle and connective tissue tumours are more common.

The mortality rate for children with brain tumours remain high, even though advances in medicine have improved the survival rates. Brain cancer in children is also often diagnosed late, which compromises the chances of early treatment. Childhood brain tumours and the associated treatments may result in long-term impairment to the child’s intellectual and neurological function. Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy and / or radiotherapy.

Brain Tumour And Brain Cancer

Primary brain tumours originate in the brain and often do not spread to other parts of the body. Tumours that begin in the brain cells may be benign or malignant. A benign tumour does not contain cancerous cells and typically does not come back after removal. Most benign brain tumours do not invade adjacent tissue and they have distinct borders. However, due to their size and placement in the brain, these tumours can produce symptoms comparable to malignant ones and are still dangerous.

On the other hand, cancerous cells are present in malignant brain tumours. Malignant brain tumours typically grow quickly and invade nearby tissue. Malignant brain tumours seldom metastasize to other parts of the body. However, they can recur even following removal. Because of their size, location, and potential harm to the brain’s essential functioning, and their aggressive nature, malignant brain tumours or brain cancers, can be very dangerous.

Symptoms of Brain Cancer In Children

The most typical symptoms of a brain tumour include the ones listed below. But each child may exhibit different symptoms depending on the tumour’s size and location. Except for extremely young children (whose skull bones have not yet fused together), many symptoms are linked to an increase in pressure in or around the brain since there is no room in the skull for anything other than the delicate brain tissues and their fluid. The following symptoms may be observed for a patient suffering from brain tumour:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Seizures
  • Personality changes
  • Paralysis or weakness in half of the body or face
  • Enlargement of the head (macroencephaly) in children whose skull bones are not completely fused

If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, of brain cancer in children you should seek a consultation with a doctor (paediatrician, paediatric neurologist, or hospital A&E) without delay to ascertain the cause of the symptoms. Most of the cases of childhood brain tumour in Singapore are treated at KK Hospital.

Further Reading On Brain Cancer

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This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.