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Astrocytoma is a type of cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord. It originates from astrocytes, and, in adult individuals, they are the most common brain tumors.

The brain is made up by many different cells, including neurons, which constitute the electric circuitry responsible for brain functions, and astrocytes, which provide the structure and support for neurons to work properly. Some astrocytomas grow very slowly and others can be aggressive cancers that grow quickly.

Treatment of Astrocytoma

The approach to treating astrocytoma is contingent on various factors, encompassing the tumor’s location, size, and type, as well as the patient’s age and overall health. A collaborative effort among specialists is essential to formulate the most effective treatment plan, and the team may include neurologists, neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists.

The primary modalities of treatment for astrocytomas are:

1. Surgery: Surgical intervention is often employed to address the tumor. 

2. Radiation Therapy: The use of radiation is a common method to target and treat astrocytomas.

3. Adjuvant Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy may be administered as an additional treatment following surgery or radiation.

4. Tumor-Treating Fields (for Glioblastomas): This innovative approach involves the use of tumor-treating fields, particularly relevant for glioblastomas.

Grade 3 and grade 4 astrocytomas always require treatments other than surgery alone, while Grade 2 astrocytomas may sometimes require adjuvant therapy.

Additionally, there might be opportunities for participation in clinical trials, providing access to cutting-edge treatments and advancements in astrocytoma care.