A Brief Overview of Astrocytomas/Gliomas

By: Young Sang Lee

An astrocytoma is a highly-vascular brain tumor that forms from transformation of the glial cells – support cells that protect neurons in your nervous system – and is indicated by vomiting, seizures, headaches and nausea. These tumors categorized by the type of cell, grade and location, and they are known to range from benign to very aggressive tumors that are difficult to treat. Gliomas are a type of tumor derived from the helper cells of the nervous system, glia.

Multimodal treatment for gliomas is available, including surgery, chemotherapy (sometimes in the form of pills) and radiation therapy. A combination of different treatments is used on almost every patient with a glioma with varied results. It takes an expert panel of experts, including a neurosurgeon, medical oncologist (tumor specialist), and radiation oncologist (for radiation treatments), as well as therapists, and a support system for both the patient and family.

Though it is not exactly determined how someone ends up with a glioma, some experts have researched electromagnetic radiation from environmental exposure to toxic chemicals, certain genetic mutations, and pre-existing benign astrocytomas that become aggressive.

Dr. Gantwerker of the Craniospinal Center of Los Angeles works with the latest in microsurgical, Gamma Knife Radiosurgery (computer-guided radiation treatment), as well as an expert panel of specialists to get you or your loved one the best care available.

If you or your loved on has been diagnosed with an astrocytoma or glioma, give us a call at (310) 694-8300 or email us at cscla.info@gmail.com. From diagnosis to treatment, to recovery, we will be there with you every step of the way.