Medulloblastoma is a cancerous (malignant) brain tumor that starts in the lower back part
of the brain, called the cerebellum.The cerebellum is involved
in muscle coordination, balance and movement.
Medulloblastoma tends to spread through cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the fluid that
surrounds and protects your brain and spinal cord to other areas around the brain
and spinal cord. This tumor rarely spreads to other areas of the body.
Medulloblastoma is a type of embryonal tumor, a tumor that starts in the fetal (embryonic) cells in the brain. Based on different types of gene mutations, there are at least four subtypes of medulloblastoma. Though medulloblastoma is not inherited, syndromes such as Gorlin's syndrome or Turcot's syndrome might increase the risk of medulloblastoma.
This disease can occur at any age, but most often occurs in young children. Though medulloblastoma is rare, it's the most common cancerous brain tumor in children. Children need to be seen at a center that has a team of pediatric specialists with expertise and experience in pediatric brain tumors, with access to the latest technology and treatments for children.
Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor of childhood,
and it accounts for about 20 percent of all childhood brain tumors.
Between 250 and 500 children are found to have medulloblastoma each year in the United States.
Most medulloblastoma tumors are found in children younger than age 16, but they can rarely occur in adults.
Medulloblastoma is slightly more common in boys than in girls.