Cerebellar Astrocytoma

What is a cerebellar astrocytoma?

Cerebellar astrocytoma makes up approximately 15 to 25 percent of brain tumors seen in children. This type of tumor arises from astrocytes, which are cells that make up the supportive tissue of the brain. A cerebelllar astrocytoma forms in the cerebellum at the lower back of the brain. The cerebellum controls movement, balance and coordination.

What are the symptoms of cerebellar astrocytoma?

The usual signs of cerebella astrocytoma include loss of balance, problems with walking, headaches (especially in the morning), vomiting and sleepiness.

How is cerebellar astrocytoma diagnosed?

The diagnosis of cerebellar astrocytoma is made through a CT scan, MRI scan and surgical biopsy.

How is cerebellar astrocytoma treated?

Treatment for astrocytoma involves the surgical removal of the bulk, or majority, of the tumor. If the tumor can't be totally removed, additional treatment might be needed. The pathologist, the doctor who looks at the tumor tissue with a microscope, will grade the tumor based on its appearance from grade one to four. Tumors with a higher grade appear more abnormal and are faster growing.

When a tumor is not completely removed or is a higher grade tumor, additional therapy may be needed. Treatment may include radiation, chemotherapy or both.

About treatment for cerebellar astrocytom at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

Our cancer and blood disorders program consistently achieves results to rank it in the top ten programs in the United States. Children's treats the majority of children with cancer and blood disorders in Minnesota and provides patients with access to a variety of clinical trials of groundbreaking new treatments. Through our renowned program, patients experience unparalleled family support, a nationally recognized pain management team, and compassionate, coordinated care.

Contact us

If you are a family member looking for a Children's hematologist or oncologist or wanting to schedule an appointment, please call our clinic at Children's – Minneapolis at (612) 813-5940.

If you are a health professional looking for consultation or referral information, please call Children's Physician Access at 1-866-755-2121 (toll-free) and ask for the on-call hematologist/oncologist.