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Low-Grade Astrocytomas

Astrocytomas are the most common type of childhood glial cell cancer (glioma). Low-grade astrocytomas - also called low-grade gliomas - tend to grow and spread more slowly than high-grade astrocytomas.

About low-grade astrocytomas

Low-grade astrocytomas are a type of low-grade glioma (brain tumors that form in glial cells) and include pilocytic astrocytomas.

Astrocytoma tumors start in star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes, a type of glial cell. Glial cells hold nerve cells in place, bring them food and oxygen, and help protect them from disease and infection.

Astrocytoma is the most common type of glioma diagnosed in children. It can form anywhere in the brain and central nervous system.

Low-grade vs. high-grade brain tumors

Low-grade means that the cancer cells and affected tissue look almost normal under a microscope. Low-grade cancer cells tend to grow and spread more slowly than high-grade cancer cells.

Low-grade cancers usually have a better chance of recovery than high-grade cancers and may not need treatment right away.

Knowing whether a pediatric brain tumor is low-grade or high-grade may help guide your child’s treatment.


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