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Understanding Craniopharyngioma

Take Control of Your Whole Health

When you or a loved one — especially a child — is diagnosed with a brain tumor, you want answers from a skilled team, and a level of compassion that surpasses the ordinary. 

AdventHealth Neuroscience Institute treats Floridians of all ages, and our team is ready to meet you and your family with the support and care you need. We’ll help you understand the next steps of craniopharyngioma treatment, and get you or your loved one on the way to feeling whole again.

With Knowledge Comes Empowerment

What Is Craniopharyngioma?

Craniopharyngiomas are non-cancerous and slow-growing tumors that are most common in children ages five to 10 years old, but adults can also develop the condition.

These tumors develop at the base of the brain, and over time, can become large enough to press on the pituitary gland. This pressure affects the hormones that control many body functions.

What Are the Most Common Craniopharyngioma Symptoms?

Craniopharyngioma symptoms tend to appear gradually. They may be barely noticeable at first but become more obvious as the tumor grows. 

Common craniopharyngioma symptoms include:

  • Balance issues
  • Excessive urination
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vision changes
  • Vomiting

How Is Craniopharyngioma Diagnosed?

While the idea of a craniopharyngioma diagnosis can be overwhelming, with the right exams, tests and imaging equipment, our neurologists can accurately — and quickly — rule out or diagnose this rare condition. 

Physical Exams

Physical exams are often the first step in diagnosing craniopharyngioma. Aside from taking a medical history and asking about symptoms, doctors may do a neurological exam to test:

  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Growth and development (in pediatric patients)
  • Hearing
  • Reflexes
  • Vision

Blood Tests

Blood tests may also be recommended to reveal and changes to hormone levels, which may indicate a problem with your, or your child’s, pituitary gland.

Imaging Tests

Imaging tests can confirm the presence, size and location of brain tumors. Your doctor may order X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans to help rule out or confirm a craniopharyngioma diagnosis.

How Is a Craniopharyngioma Treated?

Craniopharyngioma treatment can depend on the size of the tumor and a patient’s overall health. Your doctor will discuss the best treatment option for you or your loved one.

Craniopharyngioma Surgery

Removing all or most of the tumor is recommended for treating a craniopharyngioma. Advances in brain surgery offer more options and better outcomes for more patients. AdventHealth Neuroscience Institute offers several types of surgery, including craniotomy or minimally invasive surgery, such as a transsphenoidal procedure. 

Learn More About Craniopharyngioma Surgery Options

Radiation Therapy

External beam radiation uses powerful X-ray and proton beams to kill tumor cells. Proton beam therapy and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) can deliver targeted radiation.

Learn more about how craniopharyngioma radiology can help you or your loved one.

Gamma Knife® Radiosurgery

Gamma Knife® radiosurgery technology helps doctors effectively target and kills brain tumors while protecting surrounding tissues.

Learn More About Gamma Knife® Radiosurgery


Targeted chemotherapy delivers tumor-killing medicine through an injection directly into the tumor. This method also ensures healthy tissue isn’t damaged.

Learn More About Craniopharyngioma Chemotherapy

Craniopharyngioma Care

Specialized Support for Every Diagnosis

AdventHealth Neuroscience Institute offers advanced craniopharyngioma care for patients of all ages in Florida and beyond. Through our connected network of care, we’re able to reach more people with neurological disorders, including craniopharyngioma, than any other health care network in the country.