My child has a brain tumour

How a brain tumour diagnosis is made

If it has been mentioned to you that your child may have a brain tumour by their GP or A&E doctor, they will be referred to a paediatrician. The doctors will then use a variety of scans and tests to determine whether your child has a brain tumour and, if they do, what type of tumour they have.

It is understandable that you may be worried and stressed when hearing your child needs further tests and what the future holds. When you first hear your child has a brain tumour, you may feel overwhelmed, numb and a range of powerful emotions. These feelings are all normal, and remember, your child’s team wants the best outcome. This page has an overview of the different tests your child may have. There is a lot of information to process here. Remember, you can always pick up the phone to us or email.

We want to be a constant pillar of support for you and your family. We may not have all the answers, but we will try our best to direct you to the best available resources.   


This section explains the different types of scans your child may need to to identify the tumour type, location and size to determine treatment options.

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Additional testing

Sometimes depending on your child’s signs and symptoms in addition to the usual scans other test like hearing test, eye tests and EEG may be done.

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Childhood brain tumour types

Brain tumours and other central nervous system (CNS) tumours form the second most common group of cancers in children.

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Scanxiety is the fear and worry associated with scanning, both before and after a scan and before the results are given. This section discusses some strategies for you and children to manage scanxiety.

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Read our diagnosis patient guide

The 2018 brain tumour patient guide is freely available for people affected by a brain tumour diagnosis and healthcare professionals.

Access the guides now