Anaplastic Astrocytoma

Astrocytoma is a type of cancer that affects the brain. The Astrocytoma develops from glial cells which will be in star shape. Glial cells will support the nerve cells. Anaplastic Astrocytoma is considered as a Grade II tumor. The disadvantage with Anaplastic Astrocytoma is that it will spread at a quicker pace than the grade II Astrocytomas. The tumor cells will not come into view in a uniform way. The neighboring tissue will be affected in this process. This kind of cancer is more prominent in males whose age is in between 30 and 50. The disease is more prevalent in men rather than in women. 2% of the all the brain tumors belong to Anaplastic Astrocytoma.

Anaplastic Astrocytoma

The symptoms will arise out of the increased pressure in the head region. The symptoms might appear in a gradual way or in an abrupt manner. Some of the common symptoms are headache, lethargy, vomiting, seizures, compression of the brain structure, weakness and motor dysfunction. There will be a change in the behavior of the person and the thought process will change. It is required to consult the physician as the symptoms will be similar in nature to that of other kinds of diseases.


Physical examination of the patient will take place before subjecting him for various diagnostic procedures. Cross sectional images are produced through a CT scan. By using CT scan, a detailed picture can be reached and it is more efficient than X-ray. Through CT scans, the presence of tumor will be ascertained. When a person is affected with Anaplastic Astrocytoma, the shape of the mass will be irregular. The presence of lesions can be figured out through the intravenous injections.

MRI and MRS are other diagnostic tools for Anaplastic Astrocytoma. MRI produces better picture than CT scan. It is possible to distinguish the difference between hemorrhage and a tumor cyst through MRI.  A tissue sample will be collected to further investigate the disease and the tumor will be confirmed.

How to treat the condition?

The treatment for Anaplastic Astrocytoma will depend on the location of the tumor. The standard treatment options are surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Radiation or chemotherapy is administered in patients who will not respond to surgery. A number of clinical trials are going where a combination of the above methods are used so that the life expectancy can be increased.

The factors that influence the treatment include age, patient’s health condition and previous medical history. The type and location of the tumor will also decide the prevalence of the disease. The tolerance to various kinds of medications will be taken into consideration before deciding the treatment option. In most of the cases of Anaplastic Astrocytoma, surgical procedure will be adopted so that the affected tissue will be removed. Radiation therapy will be given after subjecting the patient to surgical procedures. Through chemotherapy, the entire blood stream will be treated so that cancerous cells will be killed. The side effects from the treatment will vary from one person to another person.

Anaplastic Astrocytoma:  A Malignant Grade III Brain Tumor

As per medical science the anaplastic astrocytoma is a grade III brain tumor which has a tendency to appear anywhere and in several areas of the brain. It is seen that the tumor is less common in the spinal cord or brainstem. It is mostly present in the form of cranial nerve deficits. In fact, it develops from the star shaped glial cells which are also known as astrocytes that give support to the human nerve cells.


The tumor grows at a very fast rate and is seen to be more aggressive than the grade ii astocytoma. The cells are also not uniform in appearance and may vary a great deal from one another. It usually spreads into the neighboring tissues and is found to be occurring in male and female in the age group of between 30 to 50 years. It is also found to be more common in male than females. According to medical statistics this tumor consists of 2 % of all the tumors found in the brain.

In most cases the symptoms are quite significant for persons go and seek medical advice and in most cases hospitalization is suggested. If untreated anaplastic astrocytoma may be life threatening.

Studying the symptoms

You may be able to feel that something is wrong the moment symptoms relating to anaplastic astrocytoma make their appearance. You ought to go to your doctor immediately and in most cases you may be directed to see the neurologist. The tumor brings in its wake continuous headache and feeling of lethargy. There may be a feeling like an increase in pressure inside the brain. You may show symptoms of vomiting and seizures. Then this may lead to weakness and other types of motor non-functioning.

People with the severity of the disease show neuroendocrine abnormalities and they change their behaviors that are not normal to their previous disposition. Even the thought process of these persons may change drastically. As the tumor affects the brain and the nerve system you may expect the patient to show illogical conclusions and other strange cognitive tendencies. If the tumor is treated whenever the symptoms are seen then anaplastic astrocytoma is curable.

Treating the tumor

You must seek expert medical advice the moment you experience any symptoms that may disrupt your daily normal life as there are chances of it being anaplastic astrocytoma if the same is as the ones stated above. Under no circumstances should you delay going to a specialist as your physician is sure to advise. You will need to have a CT scan and also X-Rays on the affected areas. This would be done with the help of computer technology to bring out clear cross sectional images.

You may even be asked to have an MRI scan which is in fact magnetic resonance imaging and gives your doctor complete picture of the areas affected by the tumor. You may otherwise be asked to do a biopsy test which too can give an idea about the abnormalities. Surgery and radiation therapy is undertaken after your anaplastic astrocytoma is located.