Brain Tumours are the most common cancer found in children. About 400 children in the UK develop brain and spinal tumours each year. Approximately 25 of these children live within the Wessex Paediatric Oncology Shared Care area of which Southampton Hospital is the treatment centre for the 14 hospitals covered by Robbie’s Rehab.
Not all brain tumours are malignant ie: cancer. Some are benign meaning that they are unlikely to spread. However because of their size and location benign tumours may well require major surgery.
For malignant tumours, the first main category is High Grade Astrocytoma and Eyndymoma which develop from the brain’s supporting cells known as glia. They are sometimes called gliomas. The second main category is medulloblastoma which usually develops in the cerebellum in the lower part of the brain. They can spread to other parts of the brain or spinal cord.
Treatment for brain tumours generally means surgery followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. These latter treatments can result in serious side-effects some of which are long-term.
It is the effect of the radiotherapy and chemotherapy that leaves children who have had brain tumours in dire need of the rehabilitation that Robbie’s Rehab provides.