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The exact causes of astrocytoma are not fully understood. Many cases appear to be random events, while researchers suspect that some astrocytomas may be hereditary or linked to chemical exposure in utero. Brain tumors in general, though, develop as a result of rapidly dividing brain cells. When old cells grow out of control instead of dying, they may accumulate and trigger new cell growth that can form a tumor. While the specific causes of astrocytoma might be unclear, a few risk factors have been identified, including being between the ages of 45 and 65 and having a family history of glioma. 

Some scientists believe that several factors combine to spur the abnormal cell growth that may lead to cancer, including genetics, exposure to radiation and certain lifestyle choices. There is no surefire way to avoid cancer – but, taking steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle can help increase your likelihood of avoiding malignant diseases. Consider losing excess weight, quitting smoking and other forms of tobacco use, exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables.

Astrocytoma research at Moffitt Cancer Center

Moffitt Cancer Center spearheads an ambitious clinical trials program to better understand the causes of astrocytoma and discover breakthroughs in treatment. Thanks to our relentless research efforts, the National Cancer Institute has designated Moffitt as a Comprehensive Cancer Center, and we are the only such center based in Florida. Patients in Moffitt’s renowned Neuro-Oncology Program have opportunities to participate in clinical trials and experience the latest treatment advancements before those options are made widely available. 

Contact Moffitt at 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online to request an appointment with a Moffitt physician. A referral is not required to visit Moffitt.