Pediatric brain tumor is more aggressive than in adult

26/05/2020 08:32

Brain tumor is more aggressive in child than in adult and second only  among pediatric malignant diseases. If a child presents convulsion without any medical history, a diagnosis of cerebral tumor must be considered and the patient should come to hospital immediately for check.


Benign cerebral tumor is highly curable


Since 2 AM on May 16th, 2020, Ms. DINH Thi Tuyet and her 10 years-old son, TRUONG Van Kien, came to Viet Duc University Hospital from Van Don district, Quang Ninh Province for a free examination and consultation on brain tumors. Ms. Tuyet shared, since 2 years, Kien has usually been suffering from a headache. Each time, he said “Mommy, it hurts so much”. So she brought him to Quang Ninh Gynecology and Pediatric Hospital, diagnosis of an arachnoid cyst was made after clinic and x ray examination, and the doctors concluded a benign disease, just followed up and without medication. However, headache occurs quite often and he can not concentrate in class “I worried so much” said Ms. Tuyet.


At free examination and consultation at Viet Duc University Hospital, again Kien was diagnosed a benign arachnoid cyst and no needs to take any medical treatment except some painkillers if the intense headache happened.

Assoc. Prof. DONG Van He was examining for patients

Same to Kien, NGUYEN Ngoc Hieu, 6 years old, from Kien Xuong district, Thai Binh Province suddenly presented a seizure in last 5 months. According to her mother – Ms. BUI Thi Thanh, before this onset, Hieu wasn’t sick or fever but sometimes complained about headache. At Thai Binh General Hospital, an intracranial cyst was detected by x ray examination and sign of epilepsy. 


After a careful examination, Viet Duc University Hospital’s doctors confirmed the presence of a cyst in Hieu’s brain. However, according to Assoc. Prof. DONG Van He, President of ASEAN Neurosurgery Association, Vice president of Viet Nam Neurosurgery Association, Director of Neurosurgery Center, Viet Duc University Hospital, many people thought that the cyst is an “abnormality” meaning severe disease. “ Brain cyst is benign and only requires a surgery when there are symptoms do not be worried so much about it. For Hieu’s case, he has headache or nausea, there is no danger ” said Assoc. Prof. He.


The incidence of cerebral tumor in Vietnam is the same in the world about 200 – 300 / 100.000 inhabitant each year. According to Assoc. Prof. He, the thought that all brain tumors dangerous is not right. There are more than 120 kinds of brain tumors, of them some are curable and patients are able to come back their normal life after treatment. Not very long ago, he has removed a 6-centimeter brain tumor from a female patient, 2 weeks later the patient came back to her normal daily life and work. “Early detection of brain tumor is quite curable. For benign brain tumor, except some specific locations of tumors, the treatment might be totally curative.” said Vice Director of Viet Duc University Hospital.


The brain tumor should concern if seizures or headache happened suddenly


Each year, there are about 3000 brain tumor patients coming to Viet Duc University Hospital for diagnosis and treatment, among them, 80% are adults (from the age of 30 to 60) and 20% are children. There are 2 types of brain tumors: benign and malignant. At Viet Duc University hospital, the smallest patient operated on for a brain tumor is a 2-month-old baby.

Many children came for examination and consultation on brain tumor in the morning of May 16th, 2020

According to Assoc. Prof. DONG Van He, brain tumor is more aggressive in child than in adult and ranks in second among pediatric malignant diseases. Pediatric brain tumor is often seen at the posterior fossa and mostly cancerous. So, Vice director of Viet Duc University hospital recommended parents to pay attention to any abnormal signs of their children in order to come to the hospital in time. 


So how to detect the brain tumor in children? According to Vice Director of Viet Duc University Hospital, it is very difficult for parents to notify headache signs of a small child but if he / she has suddenly vomiting, the parents should pay attention. Recently, a mother brought her child to hospital for continuous vomiting after self-researching in the internet and a cerebral CT scanner revealed a massive brain tumor. Following doctors’ recommendations, parents need to bring their child to hospital soon for any abnormal sign.


High variety of clinical manifestations of brain tumor but the most frequent symptoms are headache and seizure. “If an adult without any medical history suddenly presents a convulsion, should be 80% possibility of a brain tumor so he/she needs to go to hospital. Even if it is not brain tumor, needs to search for a root cause ” recommended Assoc. Prof. He.


Otherwise, sudden facial paralysis, deaf, hemiplegia, distraction must be referred to brain tumor also and an immediate medical consultation is required. For pituitary tumor, clinical symptoms are headache and blurred vision. Infertility of long-time married couples or sudden disorder of sexual ability or dysfunction in make are also suggested a sign of a pituitary tumor.


According to doctors, time and impact level of the tumor to patient depend on its location and growth. The treatment also depends on  type and size of tumors. Surgery is the first choice for the vast majority of brain tumors in order to remove totally / maximally pathologic tissues while preserving zones with important functions.


Because clinical manifestation is nonspecific, doctors recommend all patients with any abnormal sign to go to the medical facilities for early detection and timely treatment. Late diagnosis might lead to complications such as epilepsy, blind, hemiplegia, verbal or listening disorder, or even more severe like unconscious and death.


Viet Duc University Hospital has implemented synchronously on-demand medical services on Saturday after COVID-19 pandemic. Each day, there are about 1000 consultations including 500 – 600 on-demand cases.


Reporter: Tran Hang / Public Security News

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