Astrocytoma unites several types of tumors that arise in the brain from the so-called star-like cells, or astrocytes, and is included in the group of tumors – gliomas.
The name astrocytoma itself is not a specific diagnosis, since several types of these tumors are distinguished according to the degree of malignancy:
Pilocetary astrocytoma. The tumor occurs more often in children, and is more often localized in the cerebellum, optic nerves and brainstem and is essentially benign.
Fibrillar astrocytoma. The tumor has no clear boundaries and grows slowly. It develops in young patients 20-30 years old. The degree of malignancy is the second.
Anaplastic astrocytoma – the third degree of malignancy. It grows rapidly, penetrating into the brain tissue, and has no clear boundaries. It is more common in middle-aged men.
Glioblastoma is the most malignant of all of these, which grows very quickly. According to statistics, men are also more likely to get sick, patients from 40 to 70 years old.Causes of astrocytomas
The causes of any tumors are not known for certain. Here are just some of the risk factors for their development:
the impact of chemical production and radiation exposure.
Symptoms of these tumors can resemble completely different diseases and appear from time to time:
nausea and vomiting
changes in behavior and psyche
Other more specific symptoms will depend on the location of the tumor in the brain. For example:
if a tumor has formed in the occipital region, vision problems and even hallucinations will develop;
if in the temporal lobe, there are problems with speech and coordination.
inability to keep balance and problems when walking;
weakness in the right or left arm or leg;
problems with writing and fine motor skills.
Diagnosis of astrocytomas
It follows that this disease can be diagnosed with the help of special studies:
magnetic resonance imaging;
angiogram, that is, x-ray of the vessels;
biopsy – an analysis that will give all the necessary information about the nature of the tumor – taking a sample of the patient’s brain tissue.
Astrocytoma treatment: surgery and subsequent radiation and chemotherapy
It should be said right away that there is no single standard for determining by astrocytomas how successful the treatment will be in a particular case. But the following factors can be distinguished:
how much the tumor has already grown at the moment;
what is the rate of its growth;
where it was formed;
what is the patient’s age;
what types of treatments were applied.
Treatment methods need to be properly balanced, so it is important that a team of doctors and nurses work well together to provide an individualized treatment program. The operation is the most important stage, so you simply cannot do without an experienced neurosurgeon.
If you find out about the diagnosis, don’t panic: no statistics will determine your life expectancy. The most correct thing now would be to seek advice from a specialist. Our unique neurosurgery center is your chance to enlist the support of a team of specialists to emerge victorious in your fight against disease.
You can get a detailed consultation about your disease and answers to all questions in our clinic, which has been specializing in the treatment of brain astrocytoma pathology for 30 years and has the greatest experience in Ukraine.
Ask the Specialists.