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Diffuse Astrocytoma

Tumour Group:
WHO Grade:
Grade II
Diffuse astrocytomas represent 10-15% of all astrocytic brain tumours, with an incidence of approximately 1.4 new cases per 1 million population per year
Typical Age Range:
The peak incidence is in young adults between the ages of 30 and 40 (25% of all cases). Diffuse astrocytomas are uncommon in children. The mean age of occurrence is 34 years.

Tumour Characteristics

  • This tumour is also called low-grade astrocytoma and is more common in men than women.
  • Brain tumour experts agree that while diffuse astrocytomas are usually slow-growing, they should not be considered “non-malignant.”
  • They may be found anywhere in the brain but are most common in the cerebral hemispheres – the “thinking” part of the brain.
  • Tend to invade surrounding tissue and grow at a relatively slow pace.
  • Diffuse astrocytomas tend to contain microcysts and mucous-like fluid.
  • They are grouped by the appearance and behaviour of the cells for which they are named.


Common symptoms include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Memory loss
  • Changes in behaviour

Treatment/Standard of Care

Treatment options depend on the overall health of the person, the type, size, and location of the tumour, if and how far it has spread, and previous treatment received. The molecular profile may also guide treatment decisions.

Options may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or even careful observation such as a “wait and see” approach.


A prognosis is an estimate of the likely progress of a disease after a diagnosis, based on an average patient group. Since every person is different, please take time to talk with your health care team about how this information applies to you.

By clicking on 'expand', a statistic on the prognosis for Diffuse Astrocytoma will be shown.