Cerebellar astrocytomas are tumors in the cerebellum, a region of the brain—near the base of the skull—that coordinates muscle movement and balance. At Columbia University Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, our neurosurgeons specialize in diagnosing and surgically treating cerebellar astrocytomas. For more information on the surgical treatment of cerebellar astrocytomas, see our page on brain tumor surgery.
Like other astrocytomas of the brain and spinal cord, cerebellar astrocytomas develop from astrocytes.
The World Health Organization grades tumors on a scale of one to four. The grade indicates the speed at which a tumor grows and its ability to spread to nearby tissues. Most cerebellar astrocytomas (80 percent) are low grade tumors, meaning they are slow-growing and rarely spread. High grade astrocytomas in the cerebellum, although rare, grow quickly and can spread.
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