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  1. #1

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    Any experience with pediatric brain tumors?

    Actually, the sinus infection thread led me to start this.

    A lovely young ballerina from my pre-pro company is battling brain cancer. She literally dropped to the floor without warning in her home ten days ago and was taken to the ER. They found a 5cm brain tumor at the base of her brain in the back....

    She has had 2 surgeries, and they will start chemo in 2 weeks. I am just grateful she survived the 2 major brain surgeries. She is a strong girl, but this kind of thing is brutal to say the least.

    Her only symptoms were constant headaches that were diagnosed as sinus and allergy issues. I didn't want to put that on the sinus thread for obvious reasons....

    I wondered if any of you have had experience with brain cancer/tumors in young people. What are her chances?

    Here is a photo of her:

    http://www.pbase.com/rcalmes/image/118291922


    She is only 16, and she is a lovely girl. Her name is Anna. Your prayers and best wishes are greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    I'm sorry for the girl, but survival really depends on a number of factors including exactly where the tumor was located and the cell type. Chemo is not typically effective against many brain tumors due to the blood-brain barrier. Gamma knife (very intense, highly focused radiaiton) is often more effective, but her oncologist certainly makes the call. I doubt her oncologist or surgeon are giving her or her parents a lot of survival statistics because it just really depends.
    Adelina Sotnikova defeated the curse of Esta She is indeed the Greatest Of All Time!

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    What kind of cancer is it? My cousin died at age 14 from (I think) Glioblastoma. She was diagnosed in September, and died in April of the next year. When her parents wanted to give her a bangout Xmas knowing it would probably be her last, the only gift she wanted for Xmas was to be alive. I was just a child when she died, but that is pretty powerful. I still remember it.

    It really depends like the above poster stated on location and what exactly is the diagnosis. Even "benign" tumors can end up killing you in your cranium.

    Also, I'm very sorry for her and her family and friends. Thanks for posting.
    Last edited by Alex Forrest; 09-12-2012 at 12:18 AM.
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  4. #4
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    How terrible. I am so sorry.

    There are many different types of brain cancers and prognosis greatly varies. Were they able to have a full resection, take out all know lesion? Even today the single most effective cure for most cancers is still to find it early before it spreads and physically take it all out. The fact they did 2 surgeries on her was good news because it means at least it was still somehow operable. But it doesn't mean they were able to take out 100% known lesion. To be honest, base of the brain is usually a worse than average location because of that's where the brain stem is and it's more difficult to operate.

    Cancer is cruel.

  5. #5

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    You might want to be in touch with the people at stupidcancer.com (I'm too young for this)

    It's an organization that focuses on young adult cancer patients and the unique issues they face and the founder is a 17 year plus survivor of pediatric brain cancer.

    They are an amazing organization with tremendous first hand knowledge of all forms of cancer and treatment options.

  6. #6

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    Thanks everyone! I appreciate your advice and concern. The tumor was a 5cm giant and it was on the lower back of her head. Her vision has been affected very badly. Her eyes won't move and are stationary in the lower left of her eye, and she can barely see at all. They said they got 95% of the tumor out. We don't know yet what type it is-or her parents haven't said.

    My heart is just broken for this precious girl and for her family.

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    Oh, Holley, I'm sorry. I'll pray for Anna.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club

  8. #8
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    This is so heartbreaking.

    My nephews son was 5 when he was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer. (his tumor was in the ear area) He was only 7 when he lost his battle.

    Cancer is so cruel.

    I will keep Anna, her family and all of those who love her in my thoughts and prayers.
    Peace & Love, Gypsy
    Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.


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    That is so sad. I'll pray for her.

    My English teacher in 11th and 12th grades had a tumor in the same spot but it was benign so they aren't doing anything about it. I don't know anything about it.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holley Calmes View Post
    Thanks everyone! I appreciate your advice and concern. The tumor was a 5cm giant and it was on the lower back of her head. Her vision has been affected very badly. Her eyes won't move and are stationary in the lower left of her eye, and she can barely see at all. They said they got 95% of the tumor out. We don't know yet what type it is-or her parents haven't said.

    My heart is just broken for this precious girl and for her family.
    Holley, I'm so sorry.
    She, and her family and friends will be in my prayers.

  11. #11

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    Holley, beautiful photo as always by your husband. I pray Anna can return to that form. Hugs.
    "awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.

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    I'm so sorry for your student and her family.

    I am an adult medical oncologist with an interest in treating brain tumors, but there is some overlap with pediatric diagnoses. As other posters have mentioned, prognosis will be greatly affected by the tumor type and the extent of residual tumor after resection. If they got 95% of a 5 cm tumor, that should improve the odds, but it sounds like more information is still needed. Medulloblastoma or ependymoma can occur in that location and are still potentially curable though significant disability from treatment can result. On the other hand, some subtypes of brainstem glioma are pretty catastrophic.

    I hope and pray that the next news is as good as it can be at this point.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the insight, alexikeguchi. Please keep us posted, Holley. Hoping to hear good news on the pathology report.
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    Sending this young girl and her family positive thoughts and prayers. I hope the pathology is as positive as possible. Is there a caringbridge or facebook prayer circle for her?

    Here's the facebook of a little girl who died of Brian cancer 1 year ago yesterday. They have a foundation now and posting there may get you some info and young Anna prayers.
    https://www.facebook.com/getwellgabby

    And here's a facebook of a little boy fighting a brian tumor. The mother often sends out prayer request for other children/young adults who are in need of prayers

    https://www.facebook.com/Pray.for.Grey.The.Journey

    I hate life threatening childhood illnesses. It's so sad that young people have their life dramatically changed at best. September is childhood Cancer month. I hate cancer.
    Last edited by tarotx; 09-12-2012 at 10:55 PM.

  15. #15

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    Holley, please let Anna/her family know that many people are sending support and encouragement to her.

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    She will be in my thoughts and prayers. I lost my mom to cancer last year - a terrible disease. However, my cousin had a malignant brain tumor when he was young and he is now a 45 year old father of two beautiful children. There is always hope.

  17. #17

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    What a terrible thing to happen. My heart goes out to Anna and her family and friends. Praying all will be well.
    BARK LESS. WAG MORE.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bailey_ View Post
    She will be in my thoughts and prayers. I lost my mom to cancer last year - a terrible disease. However, my cousin had a malignant brain tumor when he was young and he is now a 45 year old father of two beautiful children. There is always hope.
    That truly gives me hope, Bailey, and I will pass your story of your cousin on to Anna's mother. Thank you! And thanks to everyone who has responded.

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    Any updates? A local dad in our community just was diagnosed with brain tumor yesterday. We have no info yet on if it is malignant ..... How long do pathology reports take? This must be an agonizing wait for the family.

  20. #20
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    There's a video about a student with the Anaheim Ballet that had a brain tumor and recovered from it.

    Wishing for the best possible outcome for Anna.
    Dá-lhe, Isadora!!
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