What is Astrocytoma of The Brain?Astrocytoma is a type of brain cancer that develops in the glial cells of the brain and spinal cord. Glial cells are the cells in the brain and spinal cord that do not produce electrical impulses but provides supports and protection to the nerve cells. According to the grading of the tumor, astrocytoma of the brain can be divided into low grade and high-grade astrocytoma of the brain. High-grade tumors are those that grow and spread rapidly to the other part of the body.
Disease EpidemiologyAstrocytomas are the most common brain tumors. The annual incidence of the disease is 15000 cases in the United States. It is slightly more common in males than in females. The mean age for the development of astrocytoma is 40 years.
Disease Etiology (Causes)There is no definite well-known cause; however certain genetic mutations are responsible for the development of cerebral astrocytoma.
Signs and SymptomsThe patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. Signs and symptoms depend on the area of the brain in which the tumor is located, its size, and the pressure it exerts on a specific area of the brain that has given rise to the symptoms. Early and general signs and symptoms of astrocytoma brain are given below.
- Blurred vision
- Changes in the level of consciousness
- Alterations in behaviors, movements, or feelings
- Weak memory or memory loss
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- Imaging tests such as X-Ray, CT-scan (computerized tomography), PET-scan (Positron emission tomography) help detect the site, size, and location of the tumor.
- Tumor biopsy and histopathological examination