Stages of Childhood Cerebral Astrocytoma
The grade of the tumor is used in place of a staging system to plan cancer treatment.
Staging is the process used to find out how much cancer there is and if cancer has spread. It is important to know the stage in order to plan treatment.
There is no standard staging system for childhood cerebralastrocytoma. Instead, the grade of the tumor is used to plan treatment. The grade of the tumor describes how abnormal the cancer cells look under a microscope and how quickly the tumor is likely to grow and spread.
The following grades are used:
- Low-grade cerebral astrocytoma is a tumor that is very slow-growing and rarely spreads.
- High-grade or malignant cerebral astrocytoma is a tumor that is fast-growing and may spread throughout the brain.
Childhood cerebral astrocytoma may form in more than one place in the brain and usually does not spread to other parts of the body.
The information from tests and procedures done to detect (find) childhood cerebral astrocytoma is used to plan cancer treatment.
Some of the tests used to detect childhood cerebral astrocytoma are repeated after the tumor is removed. (See the General Information section.) This is to find out how much tumor remains after surgery and plan further treatment.