About This Condition
These tumours originate within star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes, the cells the form the brain's supportive structure. Astocytomas can develop throughout the brain, and less commonly in the spinal cord.
There are four grades of astrocytomas:
- Grade I Pilocytic Astrocytoma are slow growing and unlikely to spread.
- Grade II Diffuse Astrocytomas can be difficult to remove due to undefined edges, are slow growing but can grow back post-surgical removal as a higher grade tumour.
- Grade III Anaplastic Astrocytomas are fast growing malignant tumours that often recur post-surgery as a higher grade tumour.
- Grade IV Glioblastomas, also known as Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) are fast growing malignant tumours which may be primary or secondary, having started as a lower grade.