Astrocytoma

An astrocytoma, sometimes called a glial cell tumor, is a tumor that develops from the star-shaped “astrocyte” cells of your brain.

Overview

Symptoms

Astrocytomas tend to grow slowly. They’re often not discovered until they become big enough to press on surrounding parts of your brain. When that happens, symptoms may include:

  • Numbness
  • Slurred speech
  • Vision loss
  • Decreased consciousness


Diagnosis

First, you’ll meet with your doctor for a physical exam. You’ll talk about your symptoms, and your doctor may order imaging tests, such as an MRI or a CT scan. After that, your doctor may perform a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis of astrocytoma.

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Treatment Options

Treatment may include:

  • Brain mapping technology, which provides guidance for a minimally invasive procedure to access the tumor through a dime-sized narrow channel, or port
  • Radiotherapy, which uses high-energy radiation to treat the tumor. This may include CyberKnife® radiosurgery, where a non-invasive, robotic system delivers high radiation doses to tumors with pinpoint accuracy.
  • Chemotherapy, which uses cancer-fighting drugs stop the growth of tumors.

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