Astrocytomas are gliomas, tumors that develop from glial cells (called astrocytes) that support the brain tissue.
Astrocytomas are classified in one of four grade categories, with grade 1 being the least aggressive and grade 4 the most aggressive.
Types of Astrocytoma Tumors
- Pilocytic Astrocytoma (Grade 1): A slow-growing tumor most often found in the cerebum, cerebellum and optic nerve. Learn more
- Low-grade Astrocytoma (Grade 2): A slow-growing tumor with undefined borders that infrequently spreads to other areas of the central nervous system. Learn more
- Anaplastic Astrocytoma (Grade 3): More aggressive than grade 1 and grade 2 tumors, these tumors are not uniform in shape and often invade surrounding tissue. Learn more
- Glioblastoma Multiforme (Grade 4): The most malignant type of tumor that originates in the brain's supportive tissue. Learn more
General symptoms include:
- Weakness on one side of the body
- Problems with balance
- Behavior, memory and personality changes
Tumor location and size determine the course of treatment. Standard treatment include surgery and radiation therapy. If surgery is ruled out, radiation and/or chemotherapy may be used to contain the tumor.