Craniopharyngioma is a cancer which arises in the pituitary gland, in tissue originally found in the embryo. One of the most common childhood brain cancers, it is also sometimes called a Rathke's pouch tumor or a suprasellar cyst.
The cause of craniopharyngioma is not really understood, although it is believed to be primarily a congenital illness. Nests of embryonic cells exist in a part of the pituitary gland known as Rathke's pouch. In craniopharyngioma, these nests appear to contain cancerous cells which, over time, multiply and become a tumor.
Causes and Symptoms
General symptoms include : -
- Headaches, which may be severe and may be worse in the early morning
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Difficulty with balance
- Increased sleepiness or fatigue
- Mood or behavior changes
Specific symptoms include: -
- Vision changes, blurriness, or loss of peripheral vision
- Excessive thirst
- Increased urination
- Slow or halted growth
- Excessive weight gain
- Early or delayed puberty
Risk FactorsA risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of developing a tumor. Some risk factors can be controlled, such as smoking, and some cannot be controlled, such as age and family history. Although risk factors can influence the development of a tumor, most do not directly cause a tumor. Some people with several risk factors never develop a tumor, while others with no known risk factors do.
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