Other Names for this Disease
- Grade III astrocytoma
- High-grade astrocytoma
- Malignant astrocytoma
Anaplastic astrocytoma is a rare, cancerous (malignant) type of brain tumor that arises from star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes. These cells surround and protect nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. An anaplastic astrocytoma usually develops slowly over time, but may develop rapidly. Signs and symptoms vary depending on the location and size of the tumor and may include headaches, drowsiness, vomiting, and changes in personality or mental status. Some affected people have seizures, vision problems, weakness of the limbs, and/or coordination problems. Anaplastic astroctyomas usually occur sporadically but can be associated with a few rare, genetic disorders. Treatment may include surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy.
Last updated: 11/3/2014
- Anaplastic astrocytoma. NORD. January 28, 2014; http://www.rarediseases.org/rare-disease-information/rare-diseases/byID/277/viewAbstract. Accessed 11/3/2014.
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- The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
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- The Social Security Administration has included this condition in their Compassionate Allowances Initiative. This initiative speeds up the processing of disability claims for applicants with certain medical conditions that cause severe disability. More information about Compassionate Allowances and applying for Social Security disability is available online.