An anaplastic tumor is a cancer with very rapid division of cells that do not resemble normal cells. The cells are apt to infiltrate nearby tissues, making it more difficult—if not impossible—to extricate from healthy tissue. Anaplastic tumors are grade 3 tumors, which are more malignant. They form from abnormal glial cells such as astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and ependymal cells. These type of glial tumors are considered high-grade gliomas.
Symptoms of Anaplastic Tumors
Anaplastic tumors generally have similar symptoms:
behavioral or personality changes
vomiting and nausea
Children with anaplastic ependymal tumors may have a larger head size, along with vomiting and lethargy.
How Are Anaplastic Tumors Diagnosed?
A biopsy may be required to make an accurate diagnosis. Depending on your symptoms, brain images and location of the tumor, the biopsy may be in coordination with the surgical removal of the tumor.
Anaplastic tumors can be differentiated in part by the type of cells they are formed from.
Anaplastic Astrocytoma forms from fast growing, abnormal, star-shaped astrocyte cells, which infiltrate nearby tissues and usually can not be cured. Astrocytes are a type of glial cell of the brain and spinal cord. Anaplastic astrocytoma is considered a malignant or high-grade tumor.
Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma is made up of oligodendrocytes, a type of glial cell that helps form the insulating myelin sheath around nerves.
Anaplastic Oligoastrocytoma is a mixed glioma formed from both oligodendrocytes and astrocytes. An anaplastic oligoastrocytoma invades nearby tissues with abnormal-looking cells. Often the level of treatment is based on the astrocytoma grade, since astrocytomas tend to be more aggressive than oligodendrogliomas.
Anaplastic Ependymoma begin in the ependymal cells that coat the ventricles of the brain and the cavities around the spinal cord filled with cerebrospinal fluid. This tumor also consists of faster growing, abnormal-looking cells.
Advanced Treatments for Anaplastic Tumors at NSPC
Neurological Surgery, P.C. (NSPC) has a multi-disciplinary team of award-winning doctors including radiation oncologists and neurosurgeons that specialize in the surgical removal of malignant cells of the central nervous system.
Our innovative procedures for anaplastic tumor treatment include functional MRIs and intra-operative brain mapping.
Stereotactic radiation therapy along with chemotherapy is used to destroy as many cancer cells as possible, and place the remaining cancer cells in stasis. Novalis radiotherapy offers you faster recovery, precisely pinpointing the shape of the tumor to preserve neighboring healthy tissue—with a shorter number of radiation sessions.
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