Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cancer Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Childhood Astrocytomas Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Stages of Childhood Astrocytomas

The grade of the tumor is used 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.

Recommended Related to Cancer

General Information About Renal Cell Cancer

Incidence and Mortality Estimated new cases and deaths from renal cell (kidney and renal pelvis) cancer in the United States in 2014:[1] New cases: 63,920. Deaths: 13,860. Follow-up and Survivorship Renal cell cancer, also called renal adenocarcinoma, or hypernephroma, can often be cured if it is diagnosed and treated when still localized to the kidney and to the immediately surrounding tissue. The probability of cure is directly related to the stage or degree of tumor dissemination...

Read the General Information About Renal Cell Cancer article > >

There is no standard staging system for childhood astrocytoma. Treatment is based on the following:

  • The grade of the tumor.
  • Whether the tumor is newly diagnosed or recurrent (has come back after 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 astrocytomas

Low-grade astrocytomas are slow-growing and rarely spread to other parts of the brain and spinal cord or other parts of the body. Low-grade astrocytomas can be either:

  • Grade I tumors-pilocytic tumors, which form like a cyst and look almost like normal cells.
  • Grade II tumors-fibrillary tumors, with cells that look long or like fibers.

There are many types of low-grade astrocytomas. Several types of low-grade astrocytomas are discussed in this summary:

  • A visual pathway glioma is a type of low-grade astrocytoma that forms along the optic nerve pathway.
  • A subependymal giant cell astrocytoma is a type of low-grade astrocytoma that may occur in children with tuberous sclerosis.

Children who have neurofibromatosis type 1 may have more than one low-grade tumor in the brain.

High-grade astrocytomas

High-grade astrocytomas are fast-growing and often spread within the brain and spinal cord. High grade astrocytomas can be either:

  • Grade III tumors-anaplastic or malignant tumors.
  • Grade IV tumors-glioblastoma, which spreads the fastest.

Childhood astrocytomas usually do not spread to other parts of the body.

An MRI is done after surgery.

An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is done in the first few days after surgery. This is to find out how much tumor, if any, remains after surgery and to plan further treatment.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: 8/, 015
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
1
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Colorectal cancer cells
New! I AM Not Cancer Facebook Group
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
 
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Ovarian cancer illustration
Real Cancer Perspectives
 
Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
Blog
what is your cancer risk
HEALTH CHECK
 
colorectal cancer treatment advances
Video
breast cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
prostate cancer overview
SLIDESHOW
lung cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
Actor Michael Douglas
Article