About medulloblastoma

Medulloblastoma is a cancerous tumor that starts in the lower back part of the brain. This part of the brain is referred to as the cerebellum. The cerebellum is involved in muscle coordination, balance and movement. These tumors often grow quickly and can spread to other parts of central nervous system, but usually respond well to treatment. 

Symptoms and diagnosis

Pediatric medulloblastoma signs and symptoms

Symptoms include:

  • Headaches

  • Nausea or vomiting in the morning

  • Clumsiness

  • Problems with handwriting

  • Tilting the head to one side

  • Difficulty walking

  • Balance problems

Diagnosis of medulloblastoma

Your child’s doctor will do a full physical exam and take a detailed medical history. Additional tests might be ordered, including:


Pediatric medulloblastoma treatment

  • Surgery. When the tumor is in an area that doctors can reach safely, surgery will be done to remove as much of the tumor as possible. 

  • Radiation therapy

  • High energy X-rays. These are used to shrink tumors and prevent them from growing.

  • Chemotherapy

Fighting pediatric cancer and blood disorders

Our UW Health Kids | Carbone Cancer Care specialists offer the most advanced treatment options. Our pediatric cancer and blood disorder experts are national research leaders. We test new therapies and continue to work on therapies for pediatric cancer and blood disorders. For many children with rare or hard-to-treat conditions, clinical trials provide new options.

Search our clinical trials

Smiling child with sign reading UW Health Kids
UW Health Kids
Our pediatric experts have served the special needs of children for more than 100 years. We focus on each child’s unique needs and offer social and emotional support to help you and your child face even the most complex condition. Our long history includes the creation of medical advances that save lives around the world. Together, we get your child back to health and enjoying being a kid.


Care for your child

Receiving care from the UW Health Kids | Carbone Cancer Center hematology, oncology and bone marrow transplant program at American Family Children’s Hospital means you have access to the knowledge and skills of many medical and support specialists for your child’s complex health diagnosis like cancer.

Meet our team

An experienced team providing your child with the care they deserve

Your child’s care is our top priority and we understand the unique needs they have. Your child’s team will include:

  • Oncologists (cancer doctors)

  • Hematologists (blood disease doctors)

  • Nurse practitioners

  • Child life specialists

  • Pain management specialists

  • Physical, occupational and speech therapists

  • Radiologists and radiation technologists

  • Social workers

  • Surgeons

  • Neuro-oncologists

  • Pediatric neurosurgeons

  • Radiation oncologists

  • Neurologists

UW Health Kids | Carbone Cancer Care experts are dedicated to diagnosing and treating all infants, children and adolescents with cancer, including rare cancers like medulloblastoma. 

Our pediatric oncologists are part of the UW Carbone Cancer Center, which is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. This designation means that the doctors taking care of your child are experts in cancer treatment, research and education. 

Pediatric hematology and oncology
Radiation oncology
Pediatric neurosurgery
Pediatric neurology
Pediatric neuropsychology

Patient and support services

You’re never alone

When your child needs hospitalization, they will be admitted to American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, Wis.

Child life specialists help your child and family cope with any fears and anxieties. The American Family Children's Hospital patient and family visitor guide features information about:

  • Hero beads

  • Hospital school

  • Positive Image Center

  • Restoring Hope Transplant House (for blood and bone marrow transplant)

  • Spiritual care services

  • Tyler's Place (sibling child care)

Additional resources

Pediatric cancer services

With our expertise comes compassion. Our team considers you and your child part of our family. We will be by your side every step of the way. From diagnosis through treatment and into adulthood, we will care for your child as if they are our own.

Learn more