Pineal tumors are rare brain tumors that form within the pineal gland or tissues around it. The gland is located in the middle of the brain in an area called the epithalamus. It produces a hormone called melatonin that controls the sleep-wake cycle.
Tumors in this region can block cerebrospinal fluid channels causing a build-up of fluid in one part of the brain. Based on their characteristics, they are grouped into Grades I, II, III, and IV. Grade I is slow growing tumor while IV is the fastest-growing tumor that may enter nearby tissues. Given the diversity of cells, different types of tumors can arise in the pineal gland including Pineocytoma, Pineal parenchymal tumor, Mixed pineal tumor, Pineoblastoma, and Papillary pineal tumor.
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Following are some of the most commonly observed symptoms of Pineal Tumors:
Your doctor may conduct a neurological examination and test your reflexes, eye movements, sensation, sense of hearing and smell, muscle strength, coordination, and balance. To do an accurate diagnosis of a Pineal Tumor, the doctor may order the following tests:
Treatment depends on the type and grade of Pineal Tumor. However, like any other brain tumor, surgery is the best option to remove the tumor. For high-grade tumors, your doctor might suggest the following treatment options:
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Grade I pineal tumors are considered benign because they can be removed with surgery. Grade IV tumors are considered malignant and they might require other treatments such as irradiation and chemotherapy.
69.5% of the survivors have a life expectancy of more than 5 years. However, there are a number of factors that contribute to prognosis. These factors include a patient’s age, health status, and how well they respond to a treatment.