Gliomatosis cerebri

Published: 09th September 2008
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Gliomatosis cerebri(GC) is a highly aggressive, rare form of neuroepithelial tumor. It most commonly presents as a diffusely infiltrating glial tumor of the cerebral cortex. It is commonly characterized by diffuse infiltration of the brain with neoplastic glial cells that affect various areas of the cerebral lobe. Gliomas are heterogeneous tumors that are classified according to their most aggressive appearing elements. The classification includes four grades of glioma. The pathological grade of gliomatosis cerebri is not always established, because only a fraction of these tumors is biopsied.

Their clinical course is most consistent with an aggressive form of astrocytic tumor. These tumors are characterized as being of astrocytic origin but having increased numbers of cells (hypercellularity), abnormal cells and nuclei (cytologic and nuclear atypia), increased proliferation of cells (mitoses), increased cell death (necrosis) and increased growth of blood vessels. These are aggressive tumors that infiltrate adjacent normal brain tissue and have a significant tendency to spread outside of the central nervous system. Gliomatosis cerebri can affect people of any age from infants under two years old to people in their eighties.

It may affect any part of the brain or even the spinal cord, optic nerve and compact white matter. The first symptoms are usually due to increased pressure within the skull (raised intracranial pressure). Raised intracranial pressure can cause headaches, sickness (vomiting) and visual problems. Fits (seizures), or changes in behaviour and personality can also be signs of a gliomatosis cerebri. Sometimes weakness or lack of coordination on one side of the body may occur. Because this cancer can develop in different parts of the brain, symptoms may vary depending on the areas of the brain that are affected.

The symptoms of a brain tumor may resemble other conditions or medical problems. The treatment for glioblastoma cerebri depends on a number of things, including your general health, how widespread the cancer is, where it is in the brain and whether it is slow or fast growing. Chemotherapy treatments such as PCV or temozolomide may be used. These treatments are often given as part of clinical trials as it's not known how helpful they are. Your doctor may also prescribe steroid drugs to reduce swelling around the cancer and so relieve symptoms.

Juliet Cohen writes articles for beauty makeup skincare. She also writes articles for celebrities hairstyles.

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