Common Types

What is an Astrocytoma?

What is an Astrocytoma?

An astrocytoma is a brain tumor that begins in astrocytes—a type of glial cell that supports nerve cells in the brain. Astrocytomas can be benign or malignant and typically occur in the brainstem, cerebellum, cerebrum, hypothalamus or optic nerves. Tumors that start in glial cells are called gliomas and are named for the specific kind of glial cell in which they originate: astrocytes, oligodendrocytes or ependymocytes. Astrocytomas are the most common form of gliomas found in children—accounting for nearly half of all pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors. Like all gliomas, astrocytomas are divided into four grades based on factors including the rate of tumor growth, level of cell abnormality and effects on surrounding healthy tissue. Low-grade astrocytomas (grades I and II) are often localized to one area and typically behave less aggressively. While considered benign, these tumors...

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What is Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH)?

What is Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH)?

Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a rare disorder in which the body produces an overabundance of Langerhans cells. These cells, which are also known as histiocytes, are a type of white blood cell that helps the immune system fight off infections. LCH causes too many of these cells to form, ultimately resulting in a buildup in the body. This accumulation of cells then damages organs, forms tumors, and otherwise disrupts normal tissue functions. According to the Histiocytosis Association, approximately one in 200,000 children is diagnosed with LCH. LCH is classified into three syndromes: Eosinophilic granuloma: the most common type that occurs most often in children who are five to 15 years of age Hand-Schüller-Christian disease: a chronic form of LCH that is typically diagnosed before the age of five Letterer-Siwe disease: a rare and potentially fatal syndrome that affects children...

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What is Lymphoma?

What is Lymphoma?

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that attacks immune system cells called lymphocytes, causing them to grow abnormally and out of control. Lymphocytes are found throughout the body in organs that make up the lymphatic system—including the spleen, bone marrow, lymph nodes and the thymus gland. Lymphoma is the third most common form of cancer in children, following leukemia and brain tumors. There are two main types of lymphoma: Non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin. Each type involves different lymphocytes, can grow at different rates and may respond differently to treatments. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma can occur at any age and is more common in boys. There are four main Non-Hodgkin subtypes found in children: anaplastic large cell, large B-cell, lymphoblastic and Burkitt. Burkitt lymphoma is highly aggressive and extremely fast-growing. Hodgkin lymphoma most commonly affects adolescents and young adults, but...

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What is Ependymoma?

What is Ependymoma?

Ependymoma is a tumor that appears most often in the brain and sometimes in the spinal cord. It is a type of glioma, meaning it starts in the support cells of the brain. This cancer occurs more frequently in children—accounting for 5-10% of all pediatric brain tumors—but it can also affect adults. Common pediatric subtypes include classic ependymoma, a tumor that most commonly appears in the brain, and anaplastic ependymoma, which tends to spread and has a high chance of recurrence. Each type is classified into three grades (I, II and III) with grade III having the fastest growth. Signs and Symptoms of Ependymoma The signs and symptoms of pediatric ependymoma can vary widely depending on where the tumor is located. “Often, it can be hard to distinguish subtle symptoms from much more common problems, such as viral infections, injuries or other illnesses,” explained Dr. Eugene Hwang. Dr....

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What is Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)?

What is Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)?

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a type of blood cancer that causes an overproduction of white blood cells. These cells grow abnormally and can build up in the blood and bone marrow, leaving less room for healthy white and red blood cells as well as platelets. CML is commonly associated with a genetic mutation called the Philadelphia chromosome. While CML is very rare in children, with about 150 pediatric cases in the U.S. each year, it’s often more aggressive in kids than it is in adults. CML accounts for 2% of leukemias in children under 15 years and 9% in those 15-19 years old. CML is a lifelong cancer, and there is no known cure—yet. But drug development has made CML a ‘manageable’ cancer for most. Signs and Symptoms of CML Like many childhood cancers, CML symptoms can vary depending on the phase of the disease. Anemia, infections, fevers, fatigue, bruising, swelling or feelings...

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What is Ewing Sarcoma?

What is Ewing Sarcoma?

Ewing Sarcoma Defined Ewing sarcoma is a cancerous bone tumor that affects children, adolescent and young adults—usually developing during puberty between the ages of 10 and 20 years old. Approximately 87% of Ewing sarcomas are in the long bone, meaning the arm, thigh, shin and pelvis. On rare occasion, Ewing sarcomas can occur in soft tissue like cartilage or nerves. These are called pPNET tumors and can be found in the nerve tissue in many parts of the body; if a pPNET is found in the chest, it is called an Askin tumor. Ewing Sarcoma Symptoms The most common symptom of Ewing sarcoma is pain and swelling at the site of the tumor that hasn’t gotten better after a couple of weeks. There also can be fever, stiffness and a lump that is warm and soft when touched. Sometimes a bone will break without cause. Symptoms can also include limping if it is in the leg or trouble breathing if it is...

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Common Types

What is an Astrocytoma?

What is an Astrocytoma?

An astrocytoma is a brain tumor that begins in astrocytes—a type of glial cell that supports nerve cells in the brain. Astrocytomas can be benign or malignant and typically occur in the brainstem, cerebellum, cerebrum, hypothalamus or optic nerves. Tumors that start in glial cells are called gliomas and are named for the specific kind of glial cell in which they originate: astrocytes, oligodendrocytes or ependymocytes. Astrocytomas are the most common form of gliomas found in...

read more
What is Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH)?

What is Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH)?

Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a rare disorder in which the body produces an overabundance of Langerhans cells. These cells, which are also known as histiocytes, are a type of white blood cell that helps the immune system fight off infections. LCH causes too many of these cells to form, ultimately resulting in a buildup in the body. This accumulation of cells then damages organs, forms tumors, and otherwise disrupts normal tissue functions. According to the Histiocytosis Association,...

read more
What is Lymphoma?

What is Lymphoma?

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that attacks immune system cells called lymphocytes, causing them to grow abnormally and out of control. Lymphocytes are found throughout the body in organs that make up the lymphatic system—including the spleen, bone marrow, lymph nodes and the thymus gland. Lymphoma is the third most common form of cancer in children, following leukemia and brain tumors. There are two main types of lymphoma: Non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin. Each type involves different lymphocytes, can...

read more
What is Ependymoma?

What is Ependymoma?

Ependymoma is a tumor that appears most often in the brain and sometimes in the spinal cord. It is a type of glioma, meaning it starts in the support cells of the brain. This cancer occurs more frequently in children—accounting for 5-10% of all pediatric brain tumors—but it can also affect adults. Common pediatric subtypes include classic ependymoma, a tumor that most commonly appears in the brain, and anaplastic ependymoma, which tends to spread and has a high chance of recurrence. Each type...

read more
What is Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)?

What is Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)?

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a type of blood cancer that causes an overproduction of white blood cells. These cells grow abnormally and can build up in the blood and bone marrow, leaving less room for healthy white and red blood cells as well as platelets. CML is commonly associated with a genetic mutation called the Philadelphia chromosome. While CML is very rare in children, with about 150 pediatric cases in the U.S. each year, it’s often more aggressive in kids than it is in adults....

read more
What is Ewing Sarcoma?

What is Ewing Sarcoma?

Ewing Sarcoma Defined Ewing sarcoma is a cancerous bone tumor that affects children, adolescent and young adults—usually developing during puberty between the ages of 10 and 20 years old. Approximately 87% of Ewing sarcomas are in the long bone, meaning the arm, thigh, shin and pelvis. On rare occasion, Ewing sarcomas can occur in soft tissue like cartilage or nerves. These are called pPNET tumors and can be found in the nerve tissue in many parts of the body; if a pPNET is found in the chest,...

read more

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