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What is the prognosis for diffuse astocytoma?

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Quick Answer

There is no definite life expectancy for people with diffuse astrocytoma. With timely treatment and strict adherence to doctor's instructions, patients can continue enjoying a good quality lifestyle for a number of years, notes UpToDate.com.

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Full Answer

Diffuse astrocytoma is a primary tumor that originates in the brain. Secondary brain tumors are usually cancerous growths that originate from other parts of the body. Primary brain tumors including diffuse astrocytoma are formed by cells referred to as glial cells. These cells usually form the structural backbone of the brain and help in supporting the functions of the nerve cells, states UpToDate.com.

In most cases of diffuse astrocytoma, the first symptom to be observed is a sudden onset of seizures. Individuals experiencing seizures often pass out or develop involuntary movements. These individuals may also lose control of the muscles of the entire body.

To diagnose this condition, doctors start by taking the patient's medical history and inquiring about the symptoms that have been experienced. Imaging tests, such as X-rays, MRIs and CT scans, are often used to ascertain the condition. A biopsy may also be ordered.

Treatment for diffuse astrocytoma can be in the form of symptom management through medication and lifestyle adjustments. Surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are other options that may be used.

Individuals who have access to timely treatment are likely to continue living a comfortable life. They can easily go ahead and engage in activities such as sports, work and house chores for a period of about one to eight years, according to UpToDate.com.

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