Dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor is a rare type of cancer that usually develops in children and young adults. The most common location where dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor develops is the temporal lobe of the brain, which can be found on either side of your head just a little in front of and above the ears. Cancers form when a change (mutation) in DNA causes certain cells to grow out of control, sometimes forming a lump or a tumor. Some of these cancerous cells can break off and spread ("metastasize") to other parts of the body and grow there. Dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumors normally grow in regions of the brain involved in muscle control, sensory perception of sight and hearing, and decision-making.
Dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor most commonly occurs in adolescents between the age of 10 and 20, though it can appear in all age groups. The most common symptom is the presence of seizures that are not controlled with standard anti-seizure medications. Depending on the size of the cancer, one may experience difficulty with speech, vision, or muscle control. Diagnoses are made usually with a combination of a physical exam, imaging studies, and other laboratory studies.
Treatment options depend on many factors such as how large the cancer is and if it has spread to other areas of the body. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor, talk to your doctor about the most current treatment options. Support groups are also available for more resources and information.