Risks and Complications of Ependymoma Treatment
Unfortunately some ependymoma treatments have associated complications that may arise after treatment is completed. Some of these issues take weeks to months to surface, so it is important to be in frequent communication with your health care provider. Many patients do not share bothersome health topics out of embarrassment or thinking the brain tumor complications is unrelated to the treatment.
Be familiar with these potential complications and neurological symptoms related to the tumor, treatment, or supportive medications. Understand some of these are not seen in every patient. Other websites provide detailed information on potential side effects, including LIVESTRONG, American Brain Tumor Association, American Cancer Society, and Epilepsy Foundation.
- Loss of some brain capacity or mental function
- Hearing loss
- Speech problems
- Muscle paralysis
- Nutrition depletion
Young patients often experience late effects of brain cancer treatment throughout their childhood. For survivors of pediatric ependymomas, and in addition to the previous-listed complications, these late effects and neurological symptoms might include the following:
Visual and auditory problems
Possibility of developing second cancer
Delayed or early puberty
Emotional problems linked to stress of diagnosis and treatment
Because these problems are uncommon and often do not surface until years after brain cancer treatment, careful observation and regular screenings are necessary to detect them as early as possible. As a child returns to school and begins to reengage in social activities, it is important to discuss the child’s special needs with teachers and other parents. Special accommodations might be required during the school day or a play date to ensure the child’s well-being.
The child’s neuro-oncology team is experienced in helping families address these issues and make the transition easier. We encourage you to search our list of CERN Centers in order to receive the exceptional care your child deserves.
If you have a question about the risks and complications of treatment that was not addressed here please contact us, connect with CERN Members or fellow patients and caregivers who may be going through what you are – they may even have the same questions!