How to detect brain tumours in children early: Watch out for these warning signs | Health

When a child is detected with a brain tumour, timely treatment is life-saving however, it is essential to spot the warning signs in children without any delay and initiate prompt intervention. Read on as we shed light on signs of brain tumours in children that shouldn’t be missed and parents need to be proactive when it comes to their child’s health.

How to detect brain tumours in children early: Watch out for these warning signs (Photo by Pain Resource)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Shiji Chalipat, Consultant Pediatric Neurologist at Ankura Hospital in Pune, shared, “A brain tumour is a growth of unusual cells in the brain and can be cancerous or non-cancerous. Just like adults, brain tumours are also a common occurrence in children. It is a known fact that brain tumours are linked to higher morbidity and mortality rates in people of all age groups including children. Timely diagnosis and treatment will help children to improve their quality of life. Parents should pay attention to these signs and symptoms to be able to seek further medical attention and save the child’s life.”

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The expert highlighted the following signs and symptoms of brain tumour in children –

• Nausea and vomiting: While these symptoms can mimic common ailments like the flu, their persistence, especially when accompanied by headaches, may indicate increased intracranial pressure associated with a brain tumor.

• Persistent headaches: Children with brain tumors often experience chronic headaches, particularly if they worsen in the morning. Persistent and worsening headaches should prompt immediate medical attention.

• Speech, vision and hearing difficulties: Depending on the tumor’s location, children may exhibit various sensory impairments, such as vision or hearing loss, as well as speech difficulties. Parents should promptly consult a doctor if they observe any such symptoms.

• Balance problems: Tumours near the brain stem can disrupt the body’s balance mechanism, leading to coordination difficulties and imbalance in affected children.

• Behavioural changes: Any noticeable changes in a child’s behavior, including mood swings, withdrawal from activities, irritability or aggression, should be promptly addressed and evaluated by a healthcare professional.

• Seizures: Brain tumours, especially those situated on the brain’s surface, can trigger seizures in affected children. Proper evaluation is essential to determine the underlying cause of seizures and initiate appropriate treatment.

Dr Shiji Chalipat concluded, “Early diagnosis of brain tumours in children allows healthcare providers to tailor treatment plans based on factors such as tumour location, size and type. Parents play a critical role in recognising and responding to potential warning signs, ensuring their child receives timely medical and surgical intervention and the best possible chance for a favorable outcome.”

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