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Astrocytoma symptoms can vary widely based on the size of the tumor and its specific location in the brain or spinal cord, as well as which nerves or glands are affected, if any. That’s because the brain and spinal cord serve as the body’s “control center,” communicating with nerves throughout the body to regulate movement, speech and sensation, as well as heartbeat, blood pressure, body temperature, metabolism and other critical functions.

What are some early warning signs of an astrocytoma?

A common early sign of an astrocytoma is pain around the site of the tumor. Additional symptoms may develop gradually if the growing tumor creates pressure inside the skull (intracranial pressure). This can lead to headaches, nausea and vomiting. Other possible symptoms include:

  • Neck pain
  • Dizziness
  • Listlessness and fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Memory problems
  • Mood, personality and behavioral changes
  • Difficulty walking
  • Incontinence
  • Seizures

In infants and young children, a brain tumor can also cause the skull to become visibly enlarged. Additionally, an eye examination may reveal swelling near the blind spot located at the back of an eye.

Astrocytoma treatment

As with all types of cancer, the early detection and treatment of an astrocytoma can help ensure the best possible outcome and quality of life. In the Neuro-Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center, our multispecialty team focuses exclusively on treating cancers of the brain and nervous system, creating an individualized treatment plan for each patient based on a number of unique considerations. In a single location, we provide a full range of diagnostic, treatment and supportive care services, as well as a robust portfolio of clinical trials.

If you’re experiencing astrocytoma symptoms, you can request a consultation with a specialist at Moffitt by calling 1-888-663-3488 or completing our new patient registration form online. We do not require referrals.