Why choose us for pediatric glioma brain tumor care?
Gliomas are the most common type of pediatric brain tumor to affect children. At Mays Cancer Center, our team delivers precise, family-focused care, convenient to South Texas and surrounding communities.
Several doctors with pediatric cancer expertise work closely together and with families to personalize your child’s treatment. Your team will include a pediatric neurosurgeon, pediatric oncologist and radiation oncologist. We treat gliomas in sophisticated ways, including intricate surgeries to remove cancer and new cancer drugs only available through clinical trials, for eligible patients.
Find out more about our pediatric neuro-oncology program.
What you need to know about glioma brain tumors in children
- Glioma tumors can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Doctors usually recommend treating all gliomas. Slow-growing benign tumors still have the potential to harm a child’s health.
- Doctors don’t understand what causes most brain tumors to develop in children. Children who have certain genetic conditions, such as neurofibromatosis, have an increased chance of developing glioma tumors. Our team has special expertise in treating neurofibromatosis in children.
- Glioma tumors also affect adults. Doctors treat children with glioma brain tumors differently than adults. Our team includes doctors who only treat children with glioma brain tumors, leading to a high degree of expertise and personalized care.
- Our close partnership with national childhood cancer research groups enables us to provide enhanced treatment options through ongoing clinical trials. Eligible patients may be able to try new cancer drugs designed to stop certain glioma tumors from growing and spreading.
How to talk to your doctor about glioma brain tumors in children
We understand the difficulties a brain tumor diagnosis can present for patients and families. We encourage you to reach out to your care team at any point with questions and concerns. Our team is here to support you.
Clinical psychologists and social workers are key members of our care team. They are trained to help you cope in a way that feels right for your family.
We will sit down with you to detail your child’s diagnosis and all available treatment options. Our team explains how cancer or treatments could affect your child now and in the future. We help you prepare for what to expect.
Your care team may bring up the potential of clinical trials. We will discuss how any options your child is eligible for could improve their care.
You might want to ask your doctor about:
- Additional testing, if any, that your child may need to guide diagnosis or treatment
- Cancer type, including whether a glioma tumor is benign or malignant and how likely it is to spread
- Treatment options, including what to expect if your child needs surgery
- Potential treatment side effects, such as changes in how your child thinks or acts
- Support services help families address physical, emotional or social difficulties due to brain tumor treatment
Doctors classify pediatric glioma tumors into two main types based on the genetic characteristics of cancer cells:
- Low-grade gliomas usually grow slowly and pose a low risk of spreading beyond the area where cancer first occurred.
- High-grade gliomas are known to grow quickly and may require more aggressive treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.