Malignant tumors of the head in infants and children appear as solid masses that enlarge rapidly. Malignant solid tumors, such as rhabdomyosarcoma and fibrosarcoma, account for two-thirds of the neoplasms in children. Aggressive treatment requires an interdisciplinary team of specialists, including:
- Pediatric oncologist
- Radiation oncologist
- Diagnostic radiologist
- Surgical pathologist
- Craniofacial plastic surgeon
Any new mass discovered in an infant or child should receive immediate medical evaluation to rule out a malignant tumor.
Most malignant tumors will be treated by a combination of modalities, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery. Often these lesions are deeply located and difficult to access, such as tumors inside the orbit or under the skull base. In these children, a pediatric craniofacial plastic surgeon and a pediatric oculoplastic or neurosurgeon will work together as a team to access and safely remove the tumor.
Following removal of some malignant tumors, reconstruction of the underlying bone and skin may be required to restore normal function and appearance. Our pediatric craniofacial plastic surgeons are experienced with these complex procedures.