Medulloblastoma is a fast-growing, high-grade tumor that starts in the region of the brain at the base of the skull. These tumors often spread to other parts of the brain and spinal cord as well.

What causes a medulloblastoma?

As with many tumors, the exact cause of medulloblastoma is unknown. Changes have been identified in genes that may play a role in the development of a medulloblastoma. There are also a few rare, genetic health syndromes that are associated with increased risk for developing this tumor.

The most common medulloblastoma symptoms include:

  • Behavioral changes
  • Changes in appetite
  • Increased pressure on the brain in which headaches, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and coordination problems can occur
  • Unusual eye movements may also occur

If the tumor has spread to the spinal cord, medulloblastoma symptoms may include:

  • Back pain
  • Trouble walking
  • Problems controlling bladder and bowel functions

Medulloblastoma treatment

Medulloblastoma treatment options include:

  • Surgery: The goal of medulloblastoma surgery is to remove as much of the tumor as possible
  • Reduced-dose radiation
  • Chemotherapy: This medulloblastoma treatment involves the use of medications that stop the growth of the tumor that can be given orally or through an IV, so that it can travel throughout the body