This type of childhood tumor is not very common, but it is highly malignant and grows very fast. It is clinically known as atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor, and it may appear in any given area of the brain or the spinal cord, but most of them start in the brain stem or the cerebellum. It usually appears in children 3 years old and younger, but sometimes it occurs in older patients.
Since this is a very fast-paced tumor, the progression of the symptoms are usually speedy. They may cause symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, headache, coordination and balance problems, asymmetry in the face or in the movements of the eyes, and others. When located near the cerebellum it may impair the normal circulation of cerebrospinal fluid, causing hydrocephalus and increased size of the head.