Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
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Astrocytoma - Childhood

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 3/2013
Symptoms and Signs

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ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. To see other pages in this guide, use the colored boxes on the right side of your screen, or click “Next” at the bottom.

Children with astrocytoma may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, children with astrocytoma do not show any of these symptoms. Or, these symptoms may be caused by a medical condition that is not a tumor. If you are concerned about a symptom or sign on this list, please talk with your child’s doctor.

  • Headaches
  • Lethargy (feeling tired and listless)
  • Seizures not related to a high fever
  • Eyesight problems, such as double vision
  • Changed growth or development

In a baby, the only symptom may be that the head is growing too fast. An infant’s skull can expand to make room for a growing tumor in the brain, so a baby with astrocytoma may have a larger than normal head.

Your child’s doctor will ask you questions about the symptoms your child is experiencing to help find out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis. This may include how long your child has been experiencing the symptom(s) and how often.

If a tumor is diagnosed, relieving symptoms and side effects remains an important part of care and treatment. This may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with the health care team about symptoms your child experiences, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

Choose “Next” (below, right) to continue reading this guide to learn about what tests and scans your child may have to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Or, use the colored boxes located on the right side of your screen to visit any section.

Last Updated: 
Thursday, April 4, 2013

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