What are brain tumors?

There are many different types of brain tumors in children. Tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) and are classified based on the composition, structure, growth rate and location of the tumor.


The symptoms of a brain tumor can vary greatly, depending on the type of tumor. Some common symptoms include:

  • headache
  • vomiting (especially in the morning)
  • nausea
  • drowsiness
  • depression
  • irritability
  • personality changes
  • vision problems


Your child’s doctor may order one or more of the following tests to determine the exact type of tumor your child has and whether the tumor has spread.

  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS)
  • computerized tomography scan (CT or CAT scan)
  • biopsy
  • lumbar puncture (spinal tap)


Treatment for brain tumors depends on the type of tumor your child has. Options may include surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.

Learn more about Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplant services at Boston Children’s Health Physicians.

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Getting a second opinion from one of our clinicians will give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your child’s health is in expert hands. Simply call 844-463-2247 to make an appointment with one of our specialists.