A from of childhood brain cancer is Medulloblastoma that originates in the cerebellum. It is a section of the brain located in the back of the head and is the part of the brain that is attached to the spinal cord. The cerebellum is responsible for movement, for balance and for posture. “Medulloblastoma is the most often type of brain cancer seen in children, accounting for “1out of every 5 cancers in children.”
The tumor suppressor gene, P53, is the gene on chromosome 17 that stops tumors cold. When this gene is absent or is otherwise mutated, there is no DNA in place to produce an anti-tumor enzyme. According to a Scientific American article by Harald Frazen, June 8, 2001 “Upon detection of cancer development, p53 proteins build up in the cell’s nucleus, instructing the cell to either halt the growth cycle or self-destruct. But under normal conditions, the cell does not need p53. In fact, the presence of p53 proteins in the nucleus would inhibit normal cell growth.”
Where cancer is concerned, and especially the illusive medulloblastoma that seems to suddenly appear in younger adults and children, the scientific community and researchers in general, are grasping for any bits of information that will help them over their next hurdle in their research efforts. The Cause of Brain Tumor? By TTHBLOG. Causes and Treatment of Medulloblastoma. This author is reporting on a study done by a scientific group hoping to find clues that will helphem find answers to the question of what causes medulloblastoma? Hopefully, one day soon the headlines will shout that out.
In the meantime, symptomatic treatment is all there is. Basically, the symptoms of this brain tumor center themselves in the movements of the body and the ability of the child, or adult, to walk, stand and to talk, and in muscular weaknesses. The location of the tumor, or in whatever part of the body the cellular activity is being compromised, will be the type of symptoms that will be seen.
The cerebellum is the regulating part of the brain that controls movement and activity therefore the brain may have its supply of nutrients shut down to the muscles rendering them unable to respond to the command walk, talk, sit, stand, etc. Headaches because of the brain swelling or from pressure, the head may be enlarged, rapid eye movements, crossed eyes, or double vision if the area of lost control is in the area of the brain controlling this type of movement, are also possible symptoms. The patient or the young adult may be unable to walk and their speech may be impaired.
Detection of the tumor is at first necessary because all of the above symptoms can be caused by other diseased processes. After that, radiation treatment or chemotherapy is the treatment of choice. Surgery may also be the treatment of choice.
This type of brain cancer has a survival rate of 60 to 80 percent and that is pretty good statistics even though there’s still unanswered questions about its cause. But of course, this type of tumor is not always malignant but may present the symptoms because of the pressure on nerves and the blood vessels. That may account for its 60 to 80 percent recovery.