Childhood brain stem glioma is a disease in which benign (noncancer) or malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the brain stem.
The brain stem is the part of the brain connected to the spinal cord. It is located in the lowest part of the brain, just above the back of the neck. The brain stem is the part of the brain that controls breathing, heart rate, and nerves and muscles used in seeing, hearing, walking, talking, and eating. Most childhood brain stem gliomas are pontine gliomas, which form in a part of the brain stem called the pons.
Although cancer is rare in children, brain tumors are the most common type of childhood cancer other than leukemia or lymphoma.
Brain tumors can occur in both children and adults; however, treatment for children may be different than treatment for adults.
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