A to Z: Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor (PNET)
May also be called: Medulloblastoma; Posterior Fossa PNET; Supratentorial PNET; Pineoblastoma
Primitive neuroectodermal (PRIM-ih-tiv nur-oh-ek-tuh-DERM-ul) tumors, or PNETs, are tumors that can happen anywhere in the brain. These tumors can spread to the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
More to Know
Primitive neuroectodermal tumors develop from immature nerve cells in the brain. These primitive cells are often cancerous, and can start to grow out of control.
Types of PNETs include:
- posterior fossa PNET
- supratentorial PNET
Symptoms of a PNET often depend on the size of the tumor and where it is, but common symptoms include:
- headaches, nausea, and vomiting (especially in the morning) caused by increased pressure in the head
- weakness in the arms and legs
- vision problems
- trouble with balance and coordination
Keep in Mind
PNETs are serious tumors that need a lot of treatment. But recent medical advances have made a cure possible for many of the children who have them.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.