The role of the pediatrician is crucial in both the diagnosis and management of pediatric brain tumors, the most common solid tumor of childhood. Awareness of the presenting signs and symptoms of brain tumors can lead to timely diagnosis, and understanding the late effects of brain tumor treatment improves long-term management of childhood brain tumor survivors.

After completing this article, readers should be able to:

  1. Recognize the presenting symptoms and physical examination findings suggestive of a childhood brain tumor and how these findings depend on tumor location.

  2. Review common brain tumor pathologies affecting children.

  3. Understand how molecular genetics plays a role in the diagnosis and treatment of childhood brain tumors.

  4. Recognize the late affects associated with the treatment of childhood brain tumors.

Brain tumors are the most common solid malignancy in children and represent the leading cause of pediatric cancer-related deaths. Five thousand new brain tumors are diagnosed yearly in...

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