Childhood craniopharyngioma accounts for 6% of the total brain tumor cases affecting children belonging to the age group of 5 to 14years. Approximately 100 people below 15 years of age are diagnosed with craniopharyngioma in the United States. The 5-year survival rate of children with craniopharyngioma under 15 years is around 95%. As per the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States (CBTRUS), the 5-year observed survival rate for craniopharyngioma is estimated at approximately 90%. These are based on a study conducted on children aged 19 years and below. The general 5-year survival rate for most brain and spinal cord cancers (including craniopharyngioma) in children aged 0 to 14 years is approximately 72%. The mentioned figure for childhood craniopharyngioma is estimated to change with time.
Statistics of Childhood Craniopharyngioma
Craniopharyngioma is a benign brain tumor usually found near the pituitary gland. Of the total brain tumor cases found amongst children, craniopharyngioma accounts for 6% of the cases 1. The disease is mainly diagnosed in children belonging to the age group of 5 to 14years. But craniopharyngioma can also affect people belonging to any age group. As per a recent statistics, around 100 people below 15 years of age will be diagnosed with craniopharyngioma this year in the United States 2.
The term observed survival is used to indicate the overall survival rate of people affected by different types of cancers. In the case of cancers or tumors affecting children, observed survival refers to the percentage of children with a specific cancerous condition expected to survive for a particular time period, post disease diagnosis. Doctors use this term to define the disease prognosis of an individual.
Craniopharyngioma survival rates can vary from one disease condition to another. Each type of childhood brain tumour type has different rates of survival. The survival rates largely depend on the type, stage, grade and risk possessed by the tumour. The lower the risk, the better the treatment and care outcome will be.
The 5-year survival rate describes the percentage of children who survive for at least five years post disease diagnosis. The 5-year survival rate of children with craniopharyngioma under 15 years is estimated to be around 95%. As per the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States (CBTRUS), the 5-year observed survival rate for craniopharyngioma is estimated at approximately 90%. These are based on a study conducted on children aged 19 years and below.
The general 5-year survival rate for most types of brain and spinal cord cancers/tumors (including craniopharyngioma) in children aged between 0 to 14 years is estimated to be 72% (approx.) 3. That is, 72% of children diagnosed with any brain or spinal cord tumors are expected to survive for five years after being diagnosed with the disease 4.
Parents or caretakers are urged to talk with their child’s doctor or healthcare team to understand more about their child’s disease condition. They are encouraged to ask questions to the doctor regarding their child’s prognosis.
Also, the figures mentioned above concerning craniopharyngioma are estimates, subject to change with time. Also, the statistics may not portray the best diagnostic procedures and treatments available to treat craniopharyngioma. The doctor or healthcare team will be able to help in such matters.
- 1.Shiminski-Maher T, Rosenberg M. Late Effects Associated with Treatment of Craniopharyngiomas in Childhood. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing. Published online August 1990:220-226. doi:10.1097/01376517-199008000-00006
- 2.Louis DN, Ohgaki H, Wiestler OD, et al. The 2007 WHO Classification of Tumours of the Central Nervous System. Acta Neuropathol. Published online July 6, 2007:97-109. doi:10.1007/s00401-007-0243-4
- 3.Elliott RE, Hsieh K, Hochm T, Belitskaya-Levy I, Wisoff J, Wisoff JH. Efficacy and safety of radical resection of primary and recurrent craniopharyngiomas in 86 children. PED. Published online January 2010:30-48. doi:10.3171/2009.7.peds09215
- 4.Müller HL. Childhood Craniopharyngioma. Horm Res Paediatr. Published online 2008:193-202. doi:10.1159/000113019