Low-grade astrocytomas, also called grade 2 astrocytomas, are gliomas – tumors that develop from the glial cells (called astrocytomas) that support nervous tissue.
Astrocytoma tumors are classified in one of four grade categories, with grade 1 being the least aggressive and grade 4 the most aggressive. Low-grade astrocytoma tumors have the potential to invade surrounding tissue but tend to grow slowly. They may also be classified by subtypes:
General symptoms include:
- Weakness on one side of the body
- Problems with balance
- Behavior, memory and personality changes
Low-Grade Astrocytoma Treatment
Treatment can vary according to tumor size, location and how far the tumor has spread, but surgery is recommended for tumors that can be removed without causing neurological distress by damaging surrounding tissue.
Total tumor removal is the surgical goal, but with surgical removal of low-grade astrocytomas, microscopic tumor cells too small for the neurosurgeon to see are often left behind. Radiation therapy, then, may be recommended after surgery to address any remaining tumor matter or for low-grade astrocytoma tumors for which surgery is not an option.
- Learn more about UW Carbone Cancer Center radiation therapy options
- Before, During and After Radiation Therapy
Information compiled based on research culled from the American Brain Tumor Association Web site.