Brain Stem Glioma - Childhood: Symptoms and Signs

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 05/2016

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. To see other pages, use the menu.

Children with a brain stem glioma may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, children with a brain stem glioma do not have any of these changes. Or, the cause of a symptom may be another medical condition that is not a brain stem glioma.          

  • Double vision or not being able to close the eyelids

  • Drooping of the face

  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing food

  • Weakness in the arms and legs, clumsiness or wobbliness, and difficulty walking

  • Difficulty talking

  • Headache

  • Vomiting

If you are concerned about any changes your child experiences, please talk with your child’s doctor. The doctor will ask how long and how often your child has been experiencing the symptom(s), in addition to other questions. This is to help find out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis.

If brain stem glioma is diagnosed, relieving symptoms remains an important part of care and treatment. This may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with the health care team about the symptoms your child experiences, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

The next section in this guide is Diagnosis. It explains what tests may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Or, use the menu to choose another section to continue reading this guide.