Brain Stem Glioma - Childhood: Symptoms and Signs

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 08/2020

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

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 a different 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 figure 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 be called palliative care or supportive care. It is often started soon after diagnosis and continued throughout treatment. Be sure to talk with your child's 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 DiagnosisIt explains what tests may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.