Brain stem tumor

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A brain stem tumor is a tumor in the part of the brain that connects to the spinal cord (the brain stem).

Types of brain stem tumors[edit]

The most common form of brainstem tumor is the brainstem glioma.


The symptoms of brain stem tumors vary greatly and can include ataxia, cranial nerve palsy, headaches, problems with speech and swallowing, hearing loss, weakness, hemiparesis, vision abnormalities, ptosis, and behavioral changes. Another possible symptom is vomiting. Headaches related to brainstem tumors may be worse shortly after waking up in the morning.[1]


An MRI is better than a CT scan when a brainstem tumor is in the differential diagnosis.

Treatment and prognosis[edit]

Treatment typically consists of radiotherapy and steroids for palliation of symptoms.[citation needed] Radiotherapy may result in minimally extended survival time.[citation needed] Prognosis is very poor, with only 37% of treated patients surviving one year or more.[citation needed] Topotecan has been studied in the treatment of brainstem glioma,[citation needed] otherwise, chemotherapy is probably ineffective, though further study is needed.[2]


External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the U.S. National Cancer Institute document "Dictionary of Cancer Terms".