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Signs of a Brain Tumor in Kids
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Headaches that persist or worsen over time should
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Signs of a Brain Tumor in Kids
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Hi I'm Dr. Danelle Fisher, Board Certified Pediatrician with www.WestchesterPeds.com and I'm here today for About.com to discuss signs of a brain tumor in kids.Brain tumors in children are an uncommon problem, but some of the symptoms may make parents nervous. When a child has a headache or vomiting, some parents will start to worry about whether this is something that will pass quickly or if it is more ominous.Some of these symptoms may start slowly and grow worse over time. Some may occur more suddenly. Let's take a look at the symptoms to watch out for if there is a suspicion of a brain tumor. Headaches in children occur commonly. The timing and characteristics of the headaches can give clues as to how serious of an issue this is. What time of day do the headaches occur? Those caused by brain tumors often happen in the morning or upon awakening and improve throughout the day. Those caused by coughing, exercise or a change in body position may occur with brain tumors.Headaches that persist or worsen over time should prompt a visit to the doctor. Vomiting that occurs first thing in the morning, with or without a headache, and continues over the course of days to weeks may be the sign of a brain tumor and should again encourage a visit to the doctor. Some symptoms are more specific when pointing to a brain tumor. A sudden change in mental status, where the child appears sluggish or drowsy, or a sudden change in behavior or personality should arouse suspicion. Double vision in children is extremely unusual and needs rapid evaluation.
Other neurologic symptoms with a sudden onset such as slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, loss of coordination or balance, weakness, or a seizure should be brought to the attention of a medical professional whether in an office or an emergency room setting. What do you do if your child is displaying symptoms of a brain tumor? Let your pediatrician know promptly. The child should have a thorough medical exam including a neurological exam.
If this reveals a concern or based on the history, the child may undergo radiologic testing such as a CT scan of the head or an MRI of the head. If the brain tumor is identified, your child will need help from pediatric specialists trained to care for cancer in children. If your child exhibits one or more of the symptoms just described, call your pediatrician to get rapid medical evaluation. There are other causes of these symptoms, including meningitis, bleeding, and pseudotumor. Also, brain tumors in children may be malignant or benign tumors. Most importantly, remember that brain tumors occur rarely in kids but it's important not to overlook the symptoms.
Thanks for watching. For more information visit us online at About.com.
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