Symptoms and Causes of Medulloblastoma

Symptoms of medulloblastoma can include issues with balance and motor skills, though it can vary depending on the location of the tumor.  Aggravated symptoms such as headaches, seizures, vision problems, and nausea may be an indication of pressure within the brain caused by the tumor.  If the medulloblastoma has spread to the spinal cord it may also lead to numbness in limbs, pain and/or bowel problems.   Additional symptoms may include:

  • Headaches that may be occasionally relieved by vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Vision, hearing, and speech problems
  • Loss of appetite
  • Changes in personality, mood or behavior
  • Loss of balance and trouble walking
  • Sleepiness
  • Weakness

These symptoms may be related to the tumor itself or be due to the buildup of pressure within the brain.  After diagnosis, surgery options may be recommended to relieve pressure within the brain and alleviate symptoms.

Causes of Medulloblastoma

The cause of medulloblastoma has not yet been determined, however there has been some research that indicates that a small percentage of pediatric medulloblastoma might be related to hereditary genetic changes.

Understanding What Cancer Is

Cells use DNA, the building blocks of genes, in order to carry out various functions, including making more cells. Sometimes pieces of DNA become damaged or are copied incorrectly. Scientists call this a mutation. Usually, cells with mutations in their DNA either repair the mutation or die (a process called apoptosis). Sometimes, though, cells with mutations can’t be repaired and don’t die like they are supposed to. In certain cases, these mutated cells begin to divide quickly, which may cause a person to develop cancer.