Childhood brain and spinal tumours

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If childhood brain and spinal cord tumours spread

Cancer cells can spread from the place where they started to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis.

Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your child’s healthcare team plan your child’s treatment and future care.

Brain tumours are different from most other types of cancer because they rarely spread outside the central nervous system (CNS) to other parts of the body. They spread locally and invade nearby tissues in the brain.

Some types of brain tumours can spread to the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and the spine. Medulloblastomas are a type of brain tumour that can spread outside the CNS. They occasionally spread to the bone or bone marrow.

Spinal cord tumours spread locally, along and around the spine and spinal cord. They may also shed cancer cells into the CSF.

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