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A sign is something that can be observed and recognized by a doctor or healthcare professional (for example, a rash). A symptom is something that only the child experiencing it can feel and know (for example, pain or tiredness). The signs and symptoms of childhood brain and spinal cord cancer can also be caused by other health conditions. It is important to have any unusual symptoms checked by a doctor.
Signs and symptoms of childhood brain and spinal cord cancer are usually the result of increased intracranial pressure (ICP). Increased ICP can occur when the tumour grows larger and starts to affect brain function. It can also happen when the tumour blocks the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and causes a buildup of CSF in the brain (hydrocephalus).
Signs and symptoms of childhood brain and spinal cord cancer include:
In a young baby, increased ICP and hydrocephalus may also cause an increase in the rate of head growth, an increase in head size and a bulge in the soft spot (fontanelle) on the top of the baby's head.
Other signs and symptoms may include:
Symptoms may depend on the location of the tumour in the brain:
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