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What is Ependymoma?

Ependymoma is a neurological condition that grows as a cancerous tumour in your brain and any part of the spine. It includes your neck, upper and lower back as well. Tumours at first are formed in the ependymal cells in the centre of the spinal cord and in the brain's fluid-filled spaces referred to as ventricles.

This condition doesn’t spread to any other part of the body, unlike other cancer types. However, it can spread to most of your brain area or spine. Ependymoma occurs at any age, but usually young children experience this condition.  They can experience symptoms like frequent seizures and headaches.

In adults, the condition is most likely to hit their spinal cord and might cause body weakness in the parts which are controlled by nerves.

Ependymoma Types

Healthcare experts rate this condition on a 1 to 3 grading scale. Grade 1 means that the condition is growing slowly and grade 3 is growing rapidly. The types of Ependymoma are:

  • Subependymoma (grade 1): This type grows near the chambers containing cerebrospinal fluid. Adults experience this type more than children.
  • Myxopapillary Ependymoma (grade 1): It is usually common among men and grows in the spinal cord.
  • Classic Ependymoma (grade 2): It is known as the most common type and is experienced by both children and adults.
  • Anaplastic Ependymoma (grade 3): This type usually occurs near the brain base and spreads to other brain parts. Even after treatment, this type can come back.

Ependymoma symptoms

The symptoms of Ependymoma vary according to the location of the tumour and its size, including the age of an individual.

This condition is also seen in babies. The symptoms in babies are:

  • Huge head
  • Irritation
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Vomits

Symptoms in adults and children are:

  • Balance issues
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Arms and legs numbness
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty during urination
  • Back and neck pain
  • Blurry vision

Ependymoma causes

The causes of Ependymoma are still not known according to experts. Usually, cancer grows when there is a certain mutation or change in genes. So, professionals are still trying to understand the causes of those gene mutations. However, neurofibromatosis type 2 is found to be a primary reason for this condition. 

Neurofibromatosis type 2 is a genetic disorder which causes noncancerous tumours to grow on nerves. Adults are usually affected by this disorder and experience hearing issues whereas in children it is found on the spinal cord or brain often. 

Ependymoma Diagnosis

Ependymoma diagnosis might need intervention of several specialists such as:

  • Neurologist, a doctor who specialises in the central nervous system
  • Neuro-oncologist, a doctor who specialises in assessing the conditions linked to central nervous system tumours.
  • Neurosurgeon is a doctor who has expertise in brain and spinal cord surgery.

The doctor might order various tests to gain more understanding on the size of tumour, its location, and grade. These tests are:

  • Magnetic resource imaging (MRIs) are ordered to view your brain or spinal cord comprehensively with the use of large magnets and computers.
  • Spinal tap also known as lumbar puncture tests are also ordered to test tumour cells. Your doctor will remove a cerebrospinal fluid sample.
  • Surgery is also initiated for testing the type and grade for tumour.

Ependymoma treatment

Your healthcare expert might treat Ependymoma with:

  • Ependymoma surgery is the primary treatment for this condition. The neurosurgeon will remove the tumour and also will ensure that healthy tissues are intact.
  • Radiation therapy is recommended as it helps in shrinking or destroying the tumour cells. Sometimes radiation therapy is given before or after surgery.
  • Fast-growing cells are removed by chemotherapy, including tumour cells. Your doctor might recommend therapy if the tumour has spread to other body parts, however it occurs in rare cases of Ependymoma.
  • Immunotherapy is another essential treatment option for this condition. The doctor will give you some drugs that help with immune system stimulation. It is a rare treatment option for Ependymoma, but is very important in case a tumour has spread to other body parts.
  • Targeted therapy involves the use of drugs targeting specific cells for attacking cancer cells or preventing them from growing. This treatment option is used in rare cases.

Why should you choose Rukmani Birla Hospital for Ependymoma?

Rukmani Birla Hospital, Jaipur is one of the renowned multispecialty hospitals in the city with advanced clinical equipment and first-class infrastructure to offer comprehensive care to patients. Our team of highly qualified doctors and surgeons offers complete clinical care and post-operative tips for a smooth and fast recovery.

You can consult our expert neuro doctor if you are experiencing Ependymyoma symptoms. Advantages of choosing RBH for Ependymoma include:

  • Highly qualified and experienced neurosciences doctors
  • State-of-the-art technology
  • Transparent pricing structure
  • Patient-centric high-quality care


How is Ependymoma classified?

The classification of Ependymoma is initiated based on the variability degree in a tumour size and shape. Doctors also classify this condition on the basis of how fast the tumour cells are emerging, tumour cells crowding, tumour blood vessels growth, tumour cells tendency, how much the tumour has spread, molecular, and genetic features.

What age groups do Ependymoma affect?

Ependymoma is a condition that can occur in any age group and is much more common among children. Adults experience spinal cord tumors and also malignant anaplastic Ependymoma.


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