A to Z: Craniopharyngiomaenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-khAZDictionary-enHD-AR1.jpgLearn about craniopharyngioma, a treatable type of brain tumor that can affect a person's vision, growth, and development.Craniopharyngioma, brain tumor, brain, benign tumor, pituitary gland, Rathke's pouch, optic nerve, hormones, headaches, slow growth, delayed puberty, vision problems, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, brain surgery, tumors06/30/201409/17/201909/17/20192886db35-3de9-49f3-9e07-76df5581b14chttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/az-craniopharyngioma.html/<p><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/dictionary/"><img class="right" title="Parents image" src="https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/buttons/P-atoZDictionary-enBT.jpg" alt="A to Z Dictionary 500 Go" name="5093-P_ATOZDICTIONARY2_ENBT.JPG" /></a></p> <p>A craniopharyngioma (kray-nee-oh-fair-in-jee-OH-muh) is a rare type of noncancerous (benign) <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/brain-nervous-system.html/">brain</a> tumor that usually forms near the base of the pituitary gland.</p> <h3>More to Know</h3> <p>When a human embryo is developing in the womb, there is a small depression called Rathke's pouch in the roof of the mouth. As the fetus develops, Rathke's pouch becomes one part of the pituitary gland, a small organ located near the bottom of the brain.</p> <p>In rare cases, remnants of Rathke's pouch develop into benign tumors. The tumors, called craniopharyngiomas, don't cause cancer but can cause problems in the brain and pituitary gland.</p> <p>Craniopharyngiomas can grow and press on the brain, pituitary gland, optic nerve (the nerve the connects the eye to the brain), or fluid-filled spaces within the brain. This can interfere with the production of hormones, affect the normal working of the brain, and cause headaches, slow growth, delayed puberty, and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/vision.html/">vision</a> problems. Craniopharyngiomas are most common in children ages 5-14, but they can affect people of any age.</p> <p>Surgery to totally remove a craniopharyngioma can sometimes damage surrounding parts of the brain and cause a permanent shortage of some hormones. Therefore, for most patients, a neurosurgeon first removes part of the craniopharyngioma, and then uses <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/radiation.html/">radiation therapy</a> for any remaining tumor. This approach usually results in effective treatment of the tumor and better quality of life for the patient.</p> <h3>Keep in Mind</h3> <p>The overall survival rate for people with craniopharyngiomas is very high with treatment. If the tumor can be removed or treated with high doses of radiation, the chance of a permanent cure is about 80%-90%.</p> <p><em>All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.</em></p>
BiopsiesDoctors order biopsies to examine tissue or cells when they're concerned about a problem such as an infection, inflammation, or cancer.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/biopsy.html/ff50e1b0-1450-45b5-b3d3-cf6db852408b
Brain TumorsBrain tumors are the second most common group of childhood cancers. Treatment requires a very specialized plan involving a team of medical specialists.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/brn-tumors.html/ff2bd11c-a3d8-4bb3-bb58-edd97dd13a31
Brain and Nervous SystemThe brain controls everything we do, and is often likened to the central computer within a vast, complicated communication network, working at lightning speed.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/brain-nervous-system.html/1e2a5004-5865-4069-97fd-5488c31075b9
CAT Scan: HeadA head CAT scan is a painless test that uses a special X-ray machine to take pictures of a patient's brain, skull, and sinuses, as well as blood vessels in the head. It might be done to check for any number of conditions.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ct-head.html/60a95789-3c39-4223-870e-3ebf4a3efdb4
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a safe and painless test that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed pictures of the body's organs and structures.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/mri.html/90abcf12-963c-4847-be8d-979b06ecdbca