Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

A to Z: Astrocytoma

May also be called: Pilocytic Astrocytoma, Fibrillary Astrocytoma, Anaplastic Astrocytoma, Glioblastoma Multiforme

An astrocytoma (as-troh-sy-TOE-muh) is a brain tumor that originates from a star-shaped brain cell known as an astrocyte.

More to Know

Astrocytes are the most common type of cell in the central nervous system. They perform many essential roles and make up the supportive tissue of the brain. When there is a defect in an astrocyte that causes it to grow out of control, the brain tumor that forms is called an astrocytoma.

Astrocytomas come in four major subtypes: pilocytic astrocytoma (grade 1), fibrillary astrocytoma (grade 2), anaplastic astrocytoma (grade 3), and glioblastoma multiforme (grade 4).

Low-grade astrocytomas (grades 1 and 2), seen more often in kids and young adults, are highly curable because they usually grow slowly, don't spread, and usually are fairly easy to remove unless found in areas where surgery would be difficult. After surgery, there's a chance that chemotherapy or radiation won't be needed.

High-grade astrocytomas (grades 3 and 4), which tend to be seen more in adults, are more aggressive and invade deeper into the tissues. This makes them more difficult to treat. Treatment usually includes surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

Keep in Mind

Treatment for brain tumors is getting better all the time, but a lot depends on the location of the tumor. Astrocytomas that can be completely removed surgically are much more likely to be cured, while those that can't be completely removed are, in general, less curable.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

What next?

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.