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Childhood Brain Stem Glioma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Stages of Childhood Brain Stem Glioma

The plan for cancer treatment depends on whether the tumor is in one area of the brain or has spread throughout the brain.

Staging is the process used to find out how much cancer there is and if cancer has spread. It is important to know the stage in order to plan treatment.

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There is no standard staging system for childhood brain stem glioma. Instead, the plan for cancer treatment depends on whether the tumor is diffuse (spread throughout the brain) or focal (in one area of the brain):

  • Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma is a tumor that has spread widely throughout the brain stem. A biopsy is usually not done for this type of brain stem glioma and it is not removed by surgery. A diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma is usually diagnosed using imaging studies.
  • Focal or low-grade glioma is a tumor that is in one area of the brain stem. A biopsy may be done and the tumor removed during the same surgery.

The information from tests and procedures done to detect (find) childhood brain stem glioma is used to plan cancer treatment.

Some of the tests used to detect childhood brain stem glioma are repeated if the tumor is removed by surgery. (See the General Information section.) This is to find out how much tumor remains after surgery and plan further treatment.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: September 04, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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