Type of disease: Rare conditions
Pilocytic astrocytoma is an often benign, slow-growing tumor of the brain or spinal cord. The tumor may be in the form of a cyst and usually does not spread to nearby tissues. Symptoms vary depending upon the size and location of the tumor. Most symptoms result from increased pressure on the brain and include headaches, nausea, vomiting, balance problems, and vision abnormalities. The underlying cause of a pilocytic astrocytoma is unknown. It most commonly occurs in children and young adults, and in people with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis. This type of tumor can often be cured with surgery. Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.