What are the symptoms of a craniopharyngioma?
These tumors cause symptoms in three major ways.
Impaired hormonal functions
The pituitary gland controls nearly all the hormones in your child's body. Since this tumor grows near the gland, it can affect production of vital hormones.
- The most common manifestation of this hormone effect is a fall-off in normal growth rate due to a lack of growth hormone.
Increased brain pressure
These tumors can grow up into the base of the brain, obstructing the chambers in the brain through which the fluid in the brain circulates.
- This obstruction results in headache, nausea, and vomiting-all symptoms of hydrocephalus, a build-up of fluid inside the brain.
Loss of vision
It's possible for these tumors to put gradually increasing pressure on the optic nerves, which leads to severe vision loss in one or both eyes.
- Many children will be initially diagnosed when they fail a vision test at school or when it is suddenly noted by their parents that their vision is dramatically reduced.