Astrocytoma | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of an astrocytoma?

As an astrocytoma grows, it presses on surrounding healthy parts of the brain, affecting their function. Because of this, the symptoms of a pediatric astrocytoma depend on the tumor's size and where in the brain it is located.

Some of the most common symptoms of a pediatric astrocytoma include:

  • headache, particularly in the morning or made better by vomiting
  • severe or frequent vomiting without other signs of gastrointestinal illness
  • vision problems, such as double vision, blurry vision or loss of vision
  • difficulty walking or balancing
  • seizures
  • weight gain or loss
  • premature puberty
  • clumsiness
  • confusion
  • sleepiness
  • changes in behavior

What causes an astrocytoma?

The exact cause of most astrocytomas is not known, but certain factors, such as genetic and immunologic abnormalities, environmental factors, diet or stress may contribute.