Medulloblastoma is a pediatric malignant primary brain tumor which spreads through the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and frequently metastasize to different locations along the surface of the brain and spinal cord. With a surge in the brain related ailments in the world, every year over 2,500 of the Indian children suffer from medulloblastoma, revealed doctors.
They also suggested that in India, every year 40,000-50,000 persons are diagnosed with brain tumor. Of these 20% are children. Until a year ago, the figure was only somewhere around 5%.
‘Every year over 2,500 of the Indian children suffer from medulloblastoma, a pediatric malignant primary brain tumor which spreads through the cerebrospinal fluid.’
The doctors said that if the cases are detected early, then 90% of the medulloblastoma cases are curable, provided the treatment protocol is followed correctly.
"20% of the brain tumor cases currently consist of children, which has increased over the years. Mostly the symptoms include repeated episodes of vomiting, and a morning headache, which may lead to a misdiagnosis of gastrointestinal disease or migraine," said Vikas Gupta, Director and head of Neurosurgery and Interventional and Endovascular Neurosurgery at BLK Hospital.
Brain Tumor Foundation of India says that brain tumor is the second most common cancer among children after leukemia.
Explaining further, Guptae said, "The child will develop a stumbling gait, frequent falls, diplopia, papilledema, and sixth cranial nerve palsy. Positional dizziness and nystagmus are also frequent and facial sensory loss or motor weakness may be present. Decerebrate attacks appear late in the disease."
The health experts have also said that if the treatment is done in time, the children can live up to 70-80 years without any problem.
Satnam Singh Chhabra, head of Neuro and Spine Department at Sir Gangaram Hospital, said, "Brain damage not just in children but as a whole can be a serious problem. It can cause problems with thinking, seeing, or speaking. It can also cause personality changes or seizures."
Talking about the causes, he said, "A small percentage of brain tumors are linked to genetic disorders and known environmental hazards, such as exposure to certain toxins or radiations."
According to the official data, currently only 6% of the children suffering from brain tumors are able to get the proper treatment.
Shailesh Jain, Senior Consultant Neuro Surgery at Saroj Super Specialty Hospital, said, "Sometimes surgery is not possible, especially if the tumor is in the brain stem or certain other areas. People who can't have surgery may receive radiation therapy or other treatment."
"Radiation therapy kills brain tumor cells with high-energy x-rays, gamma rays, or protons. Radiation therapy usually follows surgery but sometimes people who can't have surgery have radiation therapy instead," he said.