Definition

What is astrocytomas?

Astrocytomas are brain cancers formed from astrocytes. The brain is the major organ of your central nervous system and is made up of nerve cells (neurons) and supportive (glial). Different cells make up glial tissue including astrocytes.

How common is astrocytomas?

Astrocytomas are the most common brain tumors in adults. However, children can also have them. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Signs & Symptoms

What are some signs and symptoms of astrocytomas?

Early symptoms are headaches (perhaps with nausea and vomiting) or new seizures. Other symptoms include weakness of arms or legs on one side of the body, vision and speech problems.

In some cases, patients may have a change in mental abilities, such as confusion, disorientation, memory problems, and irritability.

There may be some signs or symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

Call your doctor if you have a severe headace with nausea and vomitting, muscle weakness on one side of your body, a seizure, or speech or visiion problem.

If you have side effects from treatments, such as fever after chemotheraphy, you should meet your doctor to have accurate diagnosis.

Causes

What causes astrocytomas?

The cause of astrocytomas is unknown. However, it cannot be caught and are not passed on from generation to generation.

Risk Factors

What increases your risk for astrocytomas?

Risk factors of developing astrocytomas are still unclear. According to studies, the diseases related to the nervous system as neurofibromatosis and other genetic diseases may lead to the development of astrocytomas.

Treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor.

What are your treatment options for astrocytomas?

There are three common treatments for astrocytomas:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation theraphy
  • Chemotheraphy

Among them, surgery is used first for almost all astrocytomas, to remove all or as much of the tumr as possible. Radical surgery of brain tumors will prolong life for patients. However, the removal of brain tumors is not always successful so you should be considered when implementing this method.

Beside, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are two combination therapies, in order to destroy residual tumor cells and limit the recurrence of tumors.

The success of astrocytomas treatments depend on several factors as:

  • Type of tumor
  • Number of tumors have been removed after surgery
  • Location of tumors
  • Patient’s age (Surgery is successful more in young people)

What are the most common tests for astrocytomas?

The doctor makes a diagnosis on the basis of symptoms, but the first symptoms maybe vague and often confused with tension headaches or sinus infections, so it’s hard to diagnose. The doctor also uses MRI and CT scan. If MRI or CT scans show a mass, the only way to prove the diagnosis is to perform a biopsy. For a biopsy, a smal piece of the mass is removed and studied under the microscope.

Astrocytomas can be grades I, II, III or  IV. Grades I and II are low-grade tumors, and grades III and IV are high-grade tumors. This system helps doctors decide about treatment and prognosis.

Lifestyle Changes & Home Remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies help manage astrocytomas?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with ascariasis:

  • Do follow all your doctor’s instructions after treatment.
  • Re-examinate puntually to keep track on the disease’s progress and your health condition.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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