These tumours develop in an area of the brain called the hypothalamus, which is close to the pituitary gland. They are most often diagnosed in children, teenagers and young adults and account for around 10% of brain tumours in young people, although they can be diagnosed in people of any age. As with most brain tumours, the main treatment is surgery to remove as much of the tumour as possible, if it is solid. Some tumours are filled with fluid (cystic) and these cannot usually be completely removed. Children with craniopharyngioma can have weight gain and growth problems.

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