Pineal region tumors of the human body refer to a set of the primary tumors of the central nervous system (CNS). The pineal tumors start from the pineal gland in the brain and can spread to the spinal cord. Despite that, these tumors can also spread; to other regions through the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
An accurate diagnosis of these tumors is carried out; after removing a piece of the tumor during the surgery. A neuropathologist should review the tumor tissue then. Based upon their characteristics, these are divided; into four grades. However, grade II or III papillary or parenchymal tumors of the pineal region are usually mid-grade tumors. Mid-grade tumors refer to those tumors that can develop again after being eradicated from the site of their growth. However, the grade IV pineoblastoma is cancerous or malignant. Grade IV tumors usually tend to be fast-growing tumors invading nearby tissue.
Pineal Parenchymal Tumor Symptoms
The signs and symptoms related to pineal region tumors depend on the site location of the tumor. A few possible symptoms that can occur during the pineal region tumors have stated the problem of hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus refers to the increased pressure inside the skull. This increased pressure is due to the production of too much cerebrospinal fluid or due to the blockage of its normal flow. However, the condition may also involve some other symptoms.
The symptoms and signs associated with hydrocephalus may involve unusual nausea, moderate to severe headaches, and vomiting. The affected individuals may also experience difficulty in walking, maintaining balance, or having difficulty with eye movements. Patients with pineal parenchymal tumors may also find it difficult to memorize things and feel fatigued. Pineal region tumors are more frequent in children and young individuals to adults with middle-age. However, pineoblastoma is more common in the first 20 years of life.
Pineal Parenchymal Tumor Causes
Cancer or tumor is a genetic disease, which means it is caused; by changes within the genes responsible for the control in the way our cells function. As a result of gene mutations, the growth and spread of cancer cells multiply. However, the cause of the majority of the tumors of the pineal region is unknown. Pineoblastoma can occur in people with developing inherited genetic disorder bilateral retinoblastoma. All pineal region tumors other than the papillary ones have a slightly larger occurrence in females than the males. However, these are more common in people of black ethnicity. According to an estimate, approximately 1,297 individuals are affected by this tumor in the United States of America. The researchers do not usually know the causes behind pineal tumors. The genes and environment around the individuals may also play a role. However, in a few cases, vulnerability to gene problems or radiation also maximizes the risk.
Pineal Parenchymal Tumor Survival Rate
The survival rate of five years for almost every kind of pineal region tumor is approximately 69.5%. However, there can be many factors that can affect the prognosis of pineal tumors. The factors that play a vital role during the prognosis of this tumor include; cancer traits, tumor grade, and type and health of the patient at the time of diagnosis. It also involves how the affected individuals respond to the treatment. For a better understanding of the tumors, the doctor may also elaborate on the progress of the tumor well.
The overall mean time of survival with developed pineal tumors is 66 months and the 3-year survival rate is 84% with minimal post-treatment complications. The conclusion states that the pineal region tumors have a childhood and male predominance. The most common tumor is GCT. The majority of the tumors of the pineal region are rare as well as malignant.
Pineal Parenchymal Tumor Treatment
The treatment for the pineal tumor depends upon the size, type, location, and grade of the pineal tumor. The dependency of the treatment is also on whether the tumor is causing complications by pressing on the brain. A few times, surgery is also needed to remove the pineal tumor. The treatment of such tumors may also require chemotherapy or radiation therapy after the surgical treatment.
It may be difficult to remove these tumors with surgery due to the deep and central location in the brain. Doctors may also use a computer to assist in focusing high-powered radiation on the exact tumor location. Such surgery is referred to as stereotactic surgery with no cutting involved. After the treatment, the individuals will need to follow up with MRI scans to watch for signs that the tumor has grown back. The treatment for the pineal parenchymal tumor is histology-dependent and is treated; with surgical resection.