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Abnormal growth

Babies, children and teenagers will grow differently during childhood and puberty, but this is normally within a particular range. If their growth stops or is delayed, this can be a symptom of a brain tumour.

When might abnormal growth be a symptom of a brain tumour?

If you’re worried that your child’s growth has stopped or is lagging behind other children their age, you should make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible.

It’s important to be aware that a baby, child or teenager who has abnormal growth caused by a brain tumour, they are is likely to have other symptoms as well, particularly:

  • delayed puberty
  • excessive fluid intake (feeling very thirsty and drinking a lot)
  • excessive urine (wee) production.

You should look out for these symptoms carefully.

How do I know if my baby, child or teenager has abnormal growth?

The World Health Organisation has growth charts to show the usual range of growth for healthy children.

If you’re concerned about your child, you should make an appointment with a GP.

If you’re a teenager and you’re worried about your growth, it’s best to talk to your GP about it.

If symptoms appear suddenly or are severe, take your child to A&E or phone 999.

I think I have a brain tumour, what should I do?

Brain tumours are rare, however, if you’re worried and a symptom persists or if your child has more than one symptom of a brain tumour then:

  • Talk to your doctor
    GP appointments are usually quite short, so make sure you find out how to best prepare for your child’s appointment.
  • Get an eye test
    If your child’s symptoms are limited to changes in vision and/or headaches, get their eyes tested by an optician before seeing your GP.
  • Go to A&E
    If the symptoms are sudden or severe, you should go to your emergency department or call 999.

Should I speak to a doctor during the coronavirus pandemic?

We understand you may feel worried about seeking help from your GP during the coronavirus pandemic – but please don’t delay speaking to a healthcare professional.

The NHS and your GP are still here for you and have made changes that make it easier to safely speak to a healthcare professional and get medical help if you need it.

It’s more important than ever for you to prepare for your appointments by understanding what might happen during the appointment and what questions you want to ask.

More information

Download the HeadSmart symptoms card – PDF

Pocket-sized symptoms card that list the common signs and symptoms of childhood brain tumours, which you can take with you to your family GP if you are concerned about your child.

Check the signs and symptoms of a brain tumour

Know the Signs and Symptoms

Although brain tumours are rare, if you or a loved one are experiencing two or more of the signs and symptoms it’s important that you speak to your doctor to rule out a brain tumour.

Share your experiences and help create change

By taking part in our Improving Brain Tumour Care surveys and sharing your experiences, you can help us improve treatment and care for everyone affected by a brain tumour.