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You can expect the best care
Astrocytoma is the most common type of pediatric brain tumor. They develop from glial cells called astrocytes and are most often in the cerebrum (the large, outer part of the brain) or the cerebellum (the lower, back part of the brain).
Symptoms and diagnosis
Identifying astrocytoma in children
A brain tumor often causes symptoms by pressing on the surrounding parts of the brain.
Symptoms can vary depending on a child’s age, but could include:
Headaches, often worse in the morning
Nausea and vomiting
Problems with handwriting
Tilting the head to one side
Changes in personality or behavior
Symptoms might develop gradually and can be like those of other common childhood conditions, so brain tumors can be difficult to diagnose. If you ever have concerns about symptoms your child is having, talk with your child's doctor right away.
Your child’s doctor will do a full physical exam and take a detailed medical history. Additional tests could include:
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Computerized tomography (CT) scan
Plans tailored to your child
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, general health and how severe the condition is.
Treatments might include:
Surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible
Radiation therapy using high-energy X-rays to shrink tumors and prevent them from growing
Understanding pediatric cancer
Our experts offer the most advanced treatment options, and our pediatric cancer and blood disorder experts are national research leaders. We test new therapies and continue to work on therapies for pediatric cancer and blood disorders. For many children with rare or hard-to-treat conditions, clinical trials provide new options.
Meet our team
Experts you can trust
Your child’s care is our top priority and we understand the unique needs they have.
Your child’s team will include:
Oncologists (cancer doctors)
Hematologists (blood disease doctors)
Child life specialists
Pain management specialists
Physical, occupational and speech therapists
Radiologists and radiation technologists
Care for your child
UW Health Kids | Carbone Cancer Center experts are dedicated to diagnosing and treating all infants, children and adolescents with cancer — including astrocytoma, which is a brain tumor.
Our pediatric oncologists are part of the UW Health | Carbone Cancer Center, which is a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. This designation means that the doctors taking care of your child are experts in cancer treatment, research and education.
At American Family Children’s Hospital, you will find a friendly, child-centered environment. Our hospital is designed with relaxing spaces and areas where children are encouraged to play.
Patient and support services
You’re never alone
There are services available at both American Family Children’s Hospital and in the community to help patients and their families through every step of their journey.
Child life specialists help your child and family cope with any fears and anxieties. The American Family Children's Hospital patient and family visitor guide features information about:
Positive Image Center
Spiritual care services
Tyler's Place (sibling child care)
Pediatric cancer services
With our expertise comes compassion. Our team considers you and your child part of our family. We will be by your side every step of the way. From diagnosis through treatment and into adulthood, we will care for your child as if they are our own.Learn more