- Named for its location at the base of the brain
- Can range from low grade to high grade
- Occurs most often in children between three and ten years of age, but can occur in adults
- Speech or balance abnormalities
- Difficulty swallowing
- Weakness or numbness of the arms and/or legs
- Facial weakness
- Double vision
Symptoms can develop slowly and subtly and may go unnoticed for months. In other cases, the symptoms may arise abruptly. A sudden onset of symptoms tends to occur with rapidly growing, high-grade tumors.
Surgery may not be an option because the brain stem controls vital life functions and can easily be damaged. Radiation therapy can reduce symptoms and help slow the tumor’s growth. Low-grade brain stem gliomas can have very long periods of remission.