Ependymoma - Childhood: Introduction

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 10/2018

ON THIS PAGE: You will find some basic information about this disease and the parts of the body it may affect. This is the first page of Cancer.Net’s Guide to Childhood Ependymoma. Use the menu to see other pages. Think of that menu as a roadmap for this complete guide.

Childhood ependymoma is a type of brain tumor. A tumor begins when healthy cells change and grow out of control, forming a mass. A tumor can be malignant (cancerous) or non-malignant (benign). A malignant or cancerous tumor can grow and spread to other parts of the body. A non-malignant or benign tumor usually grows slowly but will not spread. Ependymoma is a rare, malignant brain tumor.

Ependymoma starts from radial glial cells, which are a type of cell in the brain. Even though ependymoma can occur in any part of the brain or spine, it most commonly occurs in the cerebellum. The cerebellum is the part of the brain that coordinates the body’s movements. Many times, ependymoma will block the normal flow of cerebral spinal fluid, which can lead to a condition called hydrocephalus. Children with hydrocephalus often complain of headaches, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, and difficulty walking.

This section covers ependymoma diagnosed in children. Learn more about brain tumors in adults.

Looking for More of an Introduction?

If you would like more of an introduction, explore this related item. Please note that this link will take you to another section on Cancer.Net:

  • Cancer.Net Patient Education Video: View a short video led by an ASCO expert in childhood cancer that provides basic information and areas of research.

The next section in this guide is Statistics. It helps explain the number of children who are diagnosed with ependymoma and general survival rates. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.