Limiting radiation exposure outweighs the small risk of developing a brain tumor years later. 1
Prevention of a brain tumor is not possible, but you can reduce the risk by avoiding environmental hazards such as smoking.2
What Are The Ways To Prevent Pediatric Brain Tumors?
Brain cancer is one of the most destructive forms of human tumors. They cause considerable concern due to high death rates and huge pediatric costs for the care and treatment. Research studies have shown that some lifestyle changes and avoiding environmental hazards such as smoking and excessive radiation exposure can reduce the risk of brain tumors in adults however there are no known ways to prevent pediatric brain tumors.
Some of the factors that increase the risk of developing a brain tumor include age, gender, home and work exposures, family history, and exposure to infections, viruses, and allergens. Pediatric brain tumor develops because of cellular genetic alterations that often result in the damage of the immune system. Only a small portion attribute to inheritance however major factors implicates environmental factors.1
Limiting Exposure To Ionization Radiation – When ionizing radiation interacts with cells, it can cause damage to the cells and low doses of ionizing radiation can increase the risk of long-term effects such as cancer. The current limit of exposure per year should not exceed 5,000 millirems.
Viral Infections – Several types of viruses have been shown to cause brain cancer. Studies show that neurotropic viruses including the Epstein–Barr virus transmitted via salivary and genital fluids may affect the microenvironment thereby affecting tumor progression and prognosis. Staying hygiene and following a better lifestyle can help prevent these infections thus preventing the risk of cancer.2
Do Pediatric Brain Tumors Reoccur?
In some cases, despite receiving the best treatment and care, the tumor doesn’t respond to treatment and re-grows again. The recurrence of cancer is called relapse or progression. When there is a recurrence, a treatment plan is determined based on a variety of factors such as the type of the tumor, overall health of your child, and what was the previous treatment.
Before defining the type of treatment, certain diagnostic tests need to be repeated. This includes lumbar puncture, imaging techniques, and bone marrow aspiration. However, doctors use different approaches to treat recurrence.
In some instances, high-dose chemotherapy may be recommended but it is not known how children will benefit. Surgery may be considered for a low-grade glioma and perhaps this is the only mode for a cure. But when surgery is not possible, other treatment protocols for recurrence are carried out based on the child’s previous treatment.3,4
Brain cancer is an overgrowth of cells that form masses that can be malignant and benign. Depending on the location and the type of tumor, they spread rapidly to other parts of the body. They can be sometimes dangerous and disrupt body functions can be life-threatening.
The exact cause of pediatric brain tumors is still under investigation however clinical studies show that certain factors can increase the risk of brain tumors. This includes high exposure to radioactive rays and genetic factors( family history of brain cancer)
- “Can Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Children Be Prevented?” American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org/cancer/brain-spinal-cord-tumors-children/causes-risks-prevention/prevention.html
- “How can you prevent a brain tumor? Brain Cancer & Brain Tumor: Symptoms, Causes & Treatments.” CAUSES, RISK FACTORS, AND PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD BRAIN TUMOR CANCER; Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/6149-brain-cancer-brain-tumor.
- “AboutKidsHealth.” SickKids AboutKidsHealth, How likely is a meningioma to return? www.aboutkidshealth.ca
- “Brain Tumor Recurrence.” National Brain Tumor Society, 21 Jan. 2021, Recurrence of rhabdoid tumors, braintumor.org/brain-tumor-information/at-recurrence/