What is Ependymoma?
Ependymoma is a tumor that can develop in the brain or spinal cord. Ependymoma begins in the brain and spinal cord’s ependymal cells, which line the channels through which the fluid that nourishes your brain flows (cerebrospinal fluid).
Ependymoma can occur at any age, however, it is more common in young children. Unlike other types of cancer, ependymomas rarely spread to other sections of the body. They can, however, spread to multiple areas of your brain or spine. These tumors are more likely to recur in children after therapy.
- Subependymomas are benign tumors that develop in the ventricles and spread into the spinal fluid regions within the brain. These lesions can restrict spinal fluid flow and exert pressure on adjacent structures, resulting in headaches and confusion.
- Myxopapillary tumors are most commonly found in the spine. Ependymomas have no recognized cause. They are known to return locally more frequently in those who were diagnosed as children.
- Anaplastic carcinoma is a term used to describe a malignant neoplasm that develops from the uncontrolled proliferation of transformed cells of epithelial origin, or that exhibits some epithelial characteristics but lacks the cytological or architectural features associated with more differentiated tumors, such as glandular formation.
The cause of ependymomas is unknown. Nevertheless, if you have a genetic condition known as neurofibromatosis type 2, your chances of having the disease increase.
Men and women were both impacted by ependymomas. Individuals between the ages of 40 and 60 are most likely to acquire tumors. Children under the age of three accounts for around 30% of all ependymoma instances.
Cancer can be genetic, which means that it can be caused by alterations in genes that control how our cells work. In many types of cancer, genes can be mutated (altered), causing cancer cells to develop and spread. The exact Risk factors of ependymomas are unknown.
The location, size, and age of the tumor all affect the symptoms of an epidermal. Symptoms include:
- Stiff neck or back.
- Balancing issues.
- Fuzzy vision
- Difficult to urinate.
- Muscle sluggishness
- Legs or arms become numb.
- Sickness or vomiting
To determine whether you have an ependymoma, your doctor may do the following tests:
- Physical examination. The doctor examines you and inquires about your health and medical history.
- Neurologic examination. To examine the functioning of your brain, nerves, and spinal cord, the doctor will ask you to walk around.
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Your organs are captured in fine detail by this scan. You’ll probably receive a shot with a dye that gathers around cancer cells to make them more visible in photographs.
- Spinal tap. You’ll lie on your side as the doctor collects fluid from your spine using a needle. It will be inspected for signs of cancer by lab technicians.
- Biopsy. The only way to tell if a tumor is an ependymoma is to examine a little piece under a microscope for cancer cells. This is accomplished during surgery. It also informs your doctor about the nature and severity of the tumor.
- The primary treatment for ependymomas is surgery. The sort of surgery you have is determined by the location of the tumor. A highly specialized doctor (neurosurgeon) removes the tumor as much as feasible.
- To kill cancer cells, radiotherapy uses high-energy x-rays. Following surgery, you may be given radiotherapy to lessen the likelihood of the tumor returning.
- Even if your surgeon removes the entire tumor, they will almost certainly recommend chemotherapy or Immunotherapy to kill leftover cancer cells.
- Targeted drug therapy treatments may be less harmful to surrounding healthy cells than other types of treatment.
When do we see Doctor?
If you experience any signs or symptoms that worry you, schedule a visit with your healthcare professional.
Ependymoma cannot be avoided. Avoiding environmental dangers such as smoking and excessive radiation exposure can lower your risk of developing a brain tumor.