Anaplastic Astrocytoma Symptoms
Anaplastic astrocytoma is a rare type of malignant (cancerous) brain tumor that develops from astrocytes, which are star-shaped brain cells.
The symptoms of this type of tumor differ depending on where it is located in the brain and how large it is.
In this article, Dr. Gurneet Shawney, who provides efficient surgery for a brain tumor in Mumbai, discusses both common symptoms, such as headaches, and less common symptoms, such as seizures, associated with this type of tumor.
Symptoms that Recur
Like other types of brain cancer, the majority of symptoms of anaplastic astrocytoma are caused by an increase in intracranial pressure in the brain.
The tumor's growth is usually the first cause.
The following signs may transpire as a result of the pressure accumulation:
Headaches can be a symptom of brain tumors, but tumor-related headaches usually have distinct characteristics or are followed by additional signs such as vomiting. Headaches from a brain tumor are generally dull and persistent, with throbbing headaches occurring less frequently.
Vomiting: It occurs most frequently in the morning and is commonly triggered by a sharp movement, such as rolling over in bed. Extended vomiting can lead to dehydration, which can be a medical problem in and of itself.
Personality changes: People with brain tumors may experience personality changes. These shifts can include inappropriate laughter, a sudden increase in sex interest, or engaging in risky behaviors. Exaggeration of common personality traits is also possible.
Mood swings: Brain tumor symptoms have been known to mimic depression.
Drowsiness: The tumor's pressure on the brain can cause a person to become increasingly tired, even to the point of unconsciousness.
In low-grade astrocytomas, seizures are more common at presentation (when the tumor is discovered) than in anaplastic astrocytomas.
One type of seizure seen in brain tumors is focal seizures.
Involuntary movements or cramps of a small part of the body, jerking of the entire body, declined alertness, convulsions, or complete lack of awareness are all symptoms of focal seizures.
The majority of anaplastic astrocytoma tumors grow slowly and gradually. However, cancer can progress quickly in some cases, causing symptoms to appear suddenly.
You may experience one or more of the following signs and symptoms. If you possess any of such signs, consult your surgeon right away to avoid getting worse.
Symptoms Caused by the Tumor's Location
There may be more specific symptoms depending on where the tumor is located in the brain.
Any central nervous system's portion can develop an anaplastic astrocytoma. Even so, it usually grows in the cerebrum, the part of the brain that most people picture when they think of a brain.
There is a division of the cerebrum into two hemispheres or halves, and the outer layer of tissue has numerous folds and creases that give the brain its wrinkly appearance.
The cerebrum is involved in body movement and is responsible for processing sensory functions such as vision, hearing, and touch.
It also serves as a source of intelligence, allowing you to think, plan, read, remember, and process emotions, among other things.
Other common locations for this type of tumor include:
Reasoning, motor skills, higher-level cognition, and expressive language are all linked to the frontal lobe. The motor cortex, which controls body movements, is also included.
Symptoms of anaplastic astrocytoma in the frontal lobe of the cerebrum include:
Problems with memory
On the body's side opposite to the tumor, there is paralysis.
The temporal portion is a section of the brain that is located at the bottom of the brain. It's necessary for understanding the sounds and languages we hear. If the swelling is in the temporal section, you may also experience the following symptoms:
Problems with memory
Coordination and speech difficulties
The parietal lobe is bound for processing responses like pressure, touch, and pain. If a brain tumor develops here, you may experience the following symptoms:
Challenges communicating through writing distinguished as agraphia
Difficulties with fine motor abilities
Burning or tingling sensations, distinguished as paresthesias
The diencephalon is involved in essential bodily functions like hormone release. If the tumor is present, you may also experience the following symptoms:
Arms and legs sluggishness
Problems with vision
The cerebellum is in the management of stability and movement. Balance issues may also be present if the tumor is in the cerebellum.
If the tumor is in the spinal cord, you may also experience the following symptoms:
Changes in your walking style
While symptoms are often related to the tumor's location in the brain, they can also occur when cancer causes fluid buildup in another part of the brain.
This means that not all symptoms will correspond to the tumor's location.
When Should You See a Doctor or Visit a Hospital?
If you possess some of the signs listed here, especially if you have a headache simultaneously with other signs, you should consult your specialist.
These symptoms may or may not indicate the presence of a brain tumor, but they should be investigated.
Your physician may assign you to a neurologist, a doctor specializing in the brain and nervous system, for additional evaluations and tests.
If you have a seizure that continues lengthier than five minutes or if your loved one does not wake up between seizures, you should go to the hospital right away.
If you've been diagnosed with brain cancer, you need to know how to avoid complications that could make your condition worse.
If you have brain cancer, the following symptoms indicate that you should see a doctor:
Headaches that are getting worse
Severe dizziness, vertigo (spinning or moving sensation when standing still), or balance issues
Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing
Pain in the chest
Weakness, sensory changes, speech difficulty, or vision changes are all signs that your neurological symptoms worsen.
Any part of your body swelling
A new seizure or a worsening of an existing seizure
An anaplastic astrocytoma is a type of cancerous brain tumor that is extremely rare. Extended stress on the brain as a result of cancer growth causes symptoms.
Headaches, drowsiness, vomiting, and personality or mood changes are all common symptoms. Symptoms such as seizures, vision problems, and arm and leg weakness can occur in some cases.
Memory problems, vision loss, and hormone imbalances are all symptoms linked to the tumor's location in the brain.