These tumors are difficult to treat considering their placement. They grow in between and around normal brain cells. Surgically removing this tumor can interfere with the functioning of that particular area of the brain.
The occurrence of this brain tumor is very rare: 5 out of every 100. It is more common for children between the ages of 5 and 10 to develop this particular tumor.
There are symptoms of a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. They are as follows:
- muscle weakness on one side of the body
- swallowing problems
- speech problems
- crossed eyes
- hearing loss
- personality changes
These symptoms occur in many brain stem gliomas, as the cranial nerves in the brain stem controls these functions.
A diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma is treated much like other tumors. They are "treated with radiation therapy, which are high-energy X-rays that destroy tumor cells. This treatment can reduce symptoms significantly, but there may be some permanent damage caused by the tumor which can’t be helped. Steroids, another type of drug, are often given to improve some of the symptoms. Surgery is not part of the standard treatment because the tumor has grown within a part of the brain where resection is impossible. The effectiveness of chemotherapy is still uncertain" ("Reflections of Grace Foundation").
The best way to test for a DIPG is to get an MRI.
This specific tumor type is now on the list. It is important for people to know about every kind of tumor. That is what I am here for.
I hope this helped someone or at least provided some information on diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas. I felt that I needed to write about it as soon as I heard about it for the first time.
Thank you for reading! Stay tuned for the next post.
"Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma." Reflections of Grace Foundation. Reflections of Grace Foundation. Web. 16 Oct 2012. <http://www.reflectionsofgrace.org/index.php/diffuse-intrinsic-pontine-glioma-dipg.html>