Doctor's Notes on Childhood Brain Cancer: Astrocytoma
Childhood astrocytoma is a form of brain cancer in which cells in the brain start to grow abnormally. Astrocytomas are tumors that start in certain brain cells called astrocytes, which are a type of glial cell. Gliomas are tumors that form from glial cells and astrocytoma is a type of glioma. Astrocytoma is the most common type of glioma diagnosed in children.
Symptoms of childhood astrocytoma depend on where the tumor forms in the brain or spinal cord, the size of the tumor, how fast the tumor grows, and the child's age and development. Symptoms of childhood astrocytoma may include morning headache or headache that goes away after vomiting, nausea, vomiting, vision and hearing difficulties, speech problems, loss of balance, trouble walking, worsening handwriting, slow speech, weakness or change in feeling on one side of the body, unusual sleepiness, more or less energy than usual, changes in personality or behavior, seizures, changes in weight for no known reason, and an increase in the size of the head (in infants).
Head and Neck Cancer QuizQuestion
Which of these is NOT a type of head and neck cancer?See Answer
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Brain CancerBrain cancer may develop in primary brain cells, in cells that form other brain components, or from the growth of cancer cells in other parts of the body that have spread to the brain. Symptoms include headache, seizures, weakness, and nausea and vomiting. Treatment depends upon the patient's age, overall health, and the size, type, location, and grade of the tumor.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.