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Brain Tumour Resource Centre

How to find what you're looking for

The content in this section has been organized to follow the natural course of a brain tumour, from symptom recognition, to diagnosis, to treatment, to caring for your child during treatment, to long-term outcomes. However, the course of diagnosis and treatment will be different for each child, so your experience may not follow this path exactly. For instance, some children may need surgery before the exact type of brain tumour is diagnosed.

About Brain Tumours

This section begins with a description of the brain and what it does, then describes the signs and symptoms that can be caused by a brain tumour.

Understanding Diagnosis

This section describes the major types of paediatric brain tumour and the various diagnostic procedures that doctors will use to evaluate your child’s condition.


This section discusses treatments for each tumour type, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. It provides information on how to help your child prepare for treatment and how to deal with possible side effects.

At Home

This section provides information on caring for your child during outpatient treatment, coping and adjusting as a family, and dealing with learning and nutritional issues.

Looking Ahead

Once treatment is completed, your child will likely return to a more normal life and attend school. This section discusses possible effects of your child's condition and treatment on mental and physical development, social activity, and overall quality of life over the long term.

This material has been developed in close collaboration with the health care professionals of the Paediatric Brain Tumour Program at The Hospital for Sick Children, as well as other expert professionals from the hospital and elsewhere. Parents of children with brain tumours have also made a valuable contribution to the material in this section.

Please remember that this information should only be used as a guide. Every child's situation is unique. If you have specific questions about your own child's care, please speak to your child's doctor.

How does the brain work?

The brain is like a busy city. Each part has different functions and is made up of different types of cells

How do tumours form?

A cell can become abnormal when genes in cells change or are missing

After treatment

The end of treatment is an important milestone or your child and your family.

Eric Bouffet, MD, FRCPC