The brain and vertebral column structure the central system nervous (CNS). The CNS controls all vital functions of the body, including thought, speech, and strength.
Astrocytoma may be a sort of CNS tumor that forms in cells called astrocytes. Healthy astrocytes provide the connecting network of the brain and medulla spinals. When the CNS is broken, astrocytes form connective tissue. Astrocytoma begins when healthy astrocytes change and grow out of control, forming a mass called a tumor.
Astrocytoma can occur throughout the CNS,
Ø The cerebellum, which is that the back a part of the brain liable for coordination and balance
Ø The cerebrum, which is that the top a part of the brain that controls motor activities and talking
Ø The diencephalon or the central a part of the brain that controls vision, hormone production, and arm and leg movement
Ø The brain stem, which controls eye and facial movement, arm and leg movement, and breathing
Ø The medulla spinals , which controls sensation and arm and leg motor function
Astrocytoma - Childhood: Risk Factors
A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of developing a tumor. Although risk factors often influence the event of a tumor, most don't directly cause a tumor. Some people with several risk factors never develop a tumor, while others with no known risk factors do.
Doctors and researchers don't know what causes most childhood tumors. There’s some evidence that genetics may play a task during a small percentage of youngsters with cerebral astrocytoma. The subsequent factors may increase a child’s risk of developing astrocytoma:
Neurofibromatosis. Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disease that causes a kind of noncancerous tumor called a neurofibroma. Neurofibromatosis is additionally called Recklinghausen’s disease or von Recklinghausen’s disease. Learn more about neurofibromatosis type 1 and neurofibromatosis type 2.
Other genetic conditions. Less commonly, the subsequent genetic conditions are related to a better risk of developing a CNS tumor:
Ø Li-Fraumeni syndrome
Ø Tuberous sclerosis
Ø Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome
Ø Turcot syndrome
Astrocytoma - Childhood: Symptoms and Signs
Children with astrocytoma may experience the subsequent symptoms or signs. Sometimes, children with astrocytoma don't have any of those changes. Or, the explanation for a symbol could also be a special medical condition that's not a tumor.
Ø Feeling tired and listless
Ø Seizures not associated with a high fever
Ø Eyesight problems, like diplopia
Ø Changed growth or development
In a baby, the sole symptom could also be that the top is growing too fast. An infant’s skull can expand to form room for a growing tumor within the brain. So, a baby with astrocytoma may have a bigger than expected head.
Astrocytoma - Childhood: Diagnosis
Doctors use many tests to seek out, or diagnose, a tumor. They also do tests to find out if the tumor has spread to a different a part of the body from where it started. If this happens, it's called metastasis. For instance, imaging tests can show if the tumor has spread. Imaging tests show pictures of the within of the body. Doctors can also do tests to find out which treatments could work best.
For most tumor types, a biopsy is that the only sure way for the doctor to understand if a neighborhood of the body features a tumor. During a biopsy, the doctor takes a little sample of tissue for testing during a laboratory. If a biopsy isn't possible, the doctor may suggest other tests which will help make a diagnosis.
This section describes options for diagnosing astrocytoma. Not all tests listed below are going to be used for each person. Your child’s doctor may consider these factors when choosing a diagnostic test:
Ø The sort of tumor suspected
Ø Your child’s signs and symptoms
Ø Your child’s age and general health
Ø The results of earlier medical tests
Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan. A CT scan takes pictures of the within of the body using x-rays taken from different angles. A computer combines these images into an in depth , 3-dimensional image that shows any abnormalities or tumors. A CT scan are often wont to measure the tumor’s size. Sometimes, a special dye called a contrast material is given before the scan to supply better detail on the image. This dye are often injected into a patient’s vein or given as a pill to swallow.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI uses magnetic fields, not x-rays, to supply detailed images of the body. MRI is often wont to measure the tumor’s size. A contrast material is given before the scan to make a clearer picture. This dye are often injected into a patient’s vein or given as a pill or liquid to swallow.
Biopsy. Other tests can suggest that a tumor is present, but only a biopsy can make a particular diagnosis. For astrocytoma, a biopsy is completed to work out the sort and grade of the tumor. It also can be wont to identify certain molecular features that help the doctor plan treatment (see below). During a biopsy, a doctor called a neurosurgeon will remove a little piece of tissue from the tumor. A neurosurgeon focuses on treating a CNS tumor using surgery. A pathologist then analyzes the sample. A pathologist may be a doctor who focuses on interpreting laboratory tests and evaluating cells, tissues, and organs to diagnose disease.
Molecular testing of the tumor. Your child's doctor may recommend running laboratory tests on a tumor sample to spot specific genes, proteins, and other factors unique to the tumor. Results of those tests can help determine your child’s treatment options.
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