Tumor of the cerebellum


Intracranial tumors can be classified according to their benign or malignant nature, according to their histological type, that is to say, depending on the nature of the cells that proliferate there, but also their location. In adults, the majority of tumors are located above the tentorium of the cerebellum, the part of the brain between the upper and lower brain. Infratentorial tumors, which are present below this part, are more often present in children. The cerebellum has as its main roles motor functions and also the coordination of movement and balance. In children, a tumor is often at cause: pilocytic astrocytoma, a benign tumor. In adults, it can be a benign meningioma or glioma or a malignant glioblastoma or metastasis, a tumor mass resulting from the migration of cells from another cancer.


The symptoms of a tumor of the cerebellum are of gradual onset, and unfortunately we cannot predict the benign or malignant nature of the latter. We can distinguish two types of symptoms associated with a tumor of the cerebellum:
  • Symptoms related to the cerebellum itself are grouped under the term cerebellar syndrome:
    • uncoordinated movements,
    • gait,
    • balance disorders,
    • tremors,
    • dizziness ...
  • Symptoms associated with intracranial hypertension due to the increase of the secondary pressure developed by the tumor mass or to the accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid that cannot normally be discharged are as follows:
    • headache during increased physical activity, and typically stronger in the morning,
    • nausea or vomiting, projectile,
    • blurred vision, double vision or blurred vision.

These symptoms are inconsistent and may not all be present at once, depending on the location of the tumor.


The diagnosis of a cerebellar tumor is based on the clinical signs. A CT scan or MRI will highlight the injury, and depending on the features found on imaging, the nature of it. Because of the deepset location of the cerebellum and the difficulty of accessing it, biopsies can be difficult, and surgical removal may be decided from the outset. In the case of cancer, staging will be done, i.e. the search for additional spreading of other cancer to other sites.


The treatment of cancer of the cerebellum generally consists of removing the tumor by performing surgery. The operation is performed by a neurosurgeon specializing in this type of intervention. A scan can help guide the surgery. Depending on the type of cells involved and the benign or malignant nature, we may proceed or not with radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Original article published by Jeff. Translated by Jeff. Latest update on November 20, 2013 at 09:18 PM by Crashounette.
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