Astrocytoma – What is it, Symptoms and Treatments!

Astrocytoma – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments that many are unaware of. In addition,  Astrocytoma  is a cancer of the brain and is defined by a malignant tumor in the frontal, parietal and temporal lobes of the nervous system. There are several types of brain tumor , as each one originates from a particular cell in the system.

Types of Astrocytoma:  It is classified into four stages.

Grade 1 Astrocytoma:  Usually affects the cerebellum and is seen more in people up to 16 years of age. Astrocytoma is benign and its removal does not generate major complications, that is, the patient with Grade 1 Astrocytoma can achieve cure, with an almost zero probability of recurrence.

Grade 2 Astrocytoma:  It can also be removed with surgery, Grade 2 Astrocytoma is not that benign and anyone over 40 should undergo radiation therapy.

Grade 3 Astrocytoma :  It is very aggressive, it is also called an  anaplastic astrocytoma, and can be removed with surgery. However, Grade-3 Astrocytoma needs to be followed up with radiation therapy and chemotherapy after the procedure, which does not always remove the tumor completely.

Grade 4 Astrocytoma:  It is called glioblastoma multiforme and is very serious. It can also be removed by surgical means, but treatment via radiotherapy and chemotherapy is recommended, this type of astrocytoma usually appears from the age of 50.

Causes :  There is still no definition as to the causes. It is only known that  Astrocytoma  is more common over 65 years of age, in males and in patients with low immunity. There is also a clear relationship between brain tumors and radiotherapy given in youth.

There is also a genetic influence for the emergence of brain cancer.

Symptoms:  Symptoms depend on the area affected by the tumor . However, seizures after age 18 are a common symptom of all types of brain cancer. Here are some of the symptoms of  Astrocytoma:

  • Visual and auditory changes;
  • Motor agitation;
  • Muscle weakness or stiffness ;
  • Loss of sensation in any part of the body;
  • Lack of coordination;
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding what is being said;
  • Forgetting words ;
  • Problems with reading and writing;
  • Involuntary movements;
  • Hydrocephalus , for cases of brain cancer located in the cerebellum region. This happens because the tumor blocks the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid, a liquid that circulates through the spinal cord and brain, responsible for nourishing and removing waste from the nervous tissue.

Treatments:  Treatments include surgery to remove the tumor, followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy, depending on the severity of the cancer. Grade 1 and 2 tumors do not always need treatments other than surgery, as is the case withcerebellar juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma, but in some cases they can also accompany radiation therapy if the doctor identifies a recurrence .

There are cases in which the disease progresses to a degree, calling for a more appropriate treatment. Astrocytoma does not have a complete cure, and must be monitored throughout the patient’s life . Even in the case of cerebellar juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma , the patient should not dispense with medical follow-up.

Useful links: 

To assess the need for surgery, it is necessary to understand the risk of astrocytoma  to which the patient is subjected. The risky surgery can leave the patient debilitated , with dependence to perform certain activities, even if the tumor is removed. In these cases, surgery is contraindicated.

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