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Ependymomas are the third most common type of childhood brain tumour. The average age of diagnosis is five years old.
If your child or a child you know has recently been diagnosed with an ependymoma, you may be worried about what this means. This is a natural way to feel. Our Support and Information team can help answer any questions you may have or provide a listening ear if you need one.
Ependymomas are a type of brain tumour that are formed from the ependymal cells, the brain cells that produce cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). You may sometimes hear an them referred to as a glioma.
Ependymomas are usually:
While they can develop at any age, the average age of diagnosis is 5 years old and at least a quarter of diagnoses happen before the age of 2.
Most childhood ependymomas are found in the hindbrain (also called the posterior fossa), which controls functions like balance, movement, breathing and blood pressure.
There are four different types of ependymoma, so you might hear your child’s doctor call the brain tumour by a more specific name.
Most child ependymomas develop along the ventricle in the hindbrain known as the fourth ventricle. Depending on where the tumour is located, your child might have one or more of the following symptoms:
They may also experience some of the general symptoms of childhood brain tumours.
The first treatment your child is likely to have is surgery to remove as much of the tumour as possible. If the tumour is low grade and the surgeon is able to remove all the tumour, your child may not need any other treatment.
If it's not possible to remove all the tumour or if the tumour is high grade, then surgery may be followed by radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
If you need someone to talk to or advice on where to get help, our Support and Information team is available by phone, email or live-chat.
Meet Jake! In this video he helps children to understand their brain tumour diagnosis in a comforting and reassuring way.
"When I was first diagnosed, the biggest feeling I experienced was relief. I finally felt as though the doctors were listening to me."
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