Brain Stem Glioma

What is Brain Stem Glioma?

Brain stem glioma is a type of cancer that occurs in the spinal cord and brain. It originates in the glial cells which surround the nerve cells and help them function. Brain stem glioma affects the brain function. 

Types of brain stem glioma include:

  • Oligodendrogliomas

  • Astrocytoma

  • Ependymoma


Symptoms of brain stem glioma include-

  • Memory loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Seizures
  • Urinary incontinence


The cause of brain stem glioma is unknown.


Factors that increase the risk of developing brain stem glioma include:

  • Common in adults between 60-80 years
  • Family history
  • Exposure to radiation


Prevention from brain stem glioma is not possible as the cause of brain Stem glioma is still unknown.

How is it diagnosed?

If your specialist suspects that you have a brain stem glioma, he will conduct the following tests:


How is it treated?

The treatment of brain stem glioma depends on the size, type, grade, age of the patient and location of the cancer. The specialist may prescribe steroids to relieve pressure and reduce swelling.


  • Chemotherapy

    In this therapy, drugs are used to kill the cancer cells. The goal of chemotherapy is to stop the growth of tumour cells. Temozolomide drug is generally used for chemotherapy.

  • Radiation therapy

    Radiation therapy for brain stem glioma is a treatment used to destroy or stop brain tumour growth. The treatment uses external beam radiation to target and kill the cancerous cells. It is a safe option as it only targets specific areas and minimises chances of damaging normal cells. It is given in measured doses and with clinical precision so that there is no risk of damage to healthy cells. The treatment can be used in combination with neurosurgery or chemotherapy. 

When do I contact the doctor?

Look for immediate medical help if you see any signs or indications of brain stem glioma, regardless of the possibility that they appear or vanish.

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How does Medanta provide care?

Medanta Institute of Neurosciences is an integrated institute with a dedicated team of doctors supported by the latest technology which aims to provide comprehensive and multidisciplinary care for disorders of the brain and spine. The institute ha..

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