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Childhood brain tumour
Brain tumours account for 15% of paediatric cancers. Since the brain controls learning, memory, senses (hearing, visual, smell, taste, touch), emotions, muscles, organs, and blood vessels, the presentation of symptoms varies accordingly.

Treatment of paediatric brain tumour is more complex than is the treatment of some of the other cancers. Surgery to remove the tumour is not always possible because it may be inaccessible or because surgery would damage parts of the brain necessary for the functioning of the mind and/or body. Inoperable areas of the brain include: brain stem, thalamus, motor area, and deep areas of grey matter. Even a benign tumour in the brain can be life threatening. Another reason malignant brain tumours can be difficult to treat is because a blood-brain barrier exists which prevents some chemicals from entering the brain and reaching the tumour. Therefore, the prognosis depends not only on the type, grade, and size of the tumour, but on its location in the brain.

Reading about brain tumours can be particularly daunting for the parent of a recently diagnosed child. The nomenclature of brain cancers is difficult for the layman to master, since the tumours are described in terms with which most of us do not use in everyday conversation. Luckily, at least four sites (listed below) currently exist on the Internet which describe the many brain cancers. These sites use tables, diagrams, and pictures to depict the different paediatric cancers, as well as passages of detailed text. They are well written and are easy to understand because they fully explain each new medical term which they introduce.

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