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Astrocytoma


A nervous system tumor that grows from astrocytes. Astrocytomas are a type of glial cell (the supporting cells of the nervous system). They can occur in children and young adults and sometimes in older people. Astrocytomas can sometimes become large before causing symptoms and are classified in order of increasing malignancy. A diagnosis is made either after surgical resection or with a guided (stereotactic) biopsy. Treatment can consist of surgical excision, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Some patients with minimal symptoms may be observed with serial imaging studies.