Symptoms of anaplastic astrocytoma include behavioral changes, headaches, seizures and memory loss, according to the American Brain Tumor Association. Other symptoms depend upon the tumor's size and its location in the nervous system.
An anaplastic astrocytoma is considered a grade 3 brain tumor, the American Brain Tumor Association reports. It usually requires more aggressive treatment than slower-growing grade 1 and 2 tumors.
All types of astrocytomas are tumors that start with abnormal cells in astrocytes, cells that make up the brain's supportive tissue, the American Brain Tumor Association explains. The tumors can appear throughout the nervous system, including the spinal cord. They are found in several parts of the brain, including the cerebrum, brainstem and cerebellum. Anaplastic astrocytomas usually occur in adults over age 45 and appear more frequently in men than in women.
Treatment for anaplastic astrocytoma usually begins with surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible, the American Brain Tumor Association says. After surgery, doctors typically follow up with radiation treatments to destroy any remaining tumor. Sometimes chemotherapy is used in combination with radiation, while other times chemo is the treatment option if an anaplastic astrocytoma reoccurs. Other treatments for recurrence include different forms of radiation and chemotherapy as well as several drug combinations.