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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Brain Cancer – Gliomas, Version 1.2016


Glioma basics





Astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, ependymal cells,

and microglial cells are glial cells. Their job is to

support nerve cells.



Gliomas are cancers of glial cells.



Cancer consists of cells that grow faster than

normal cells, invade into normal tissue, and

spread to other areas.



Some gliomas grow and spread faster than

others. There are four cancer grades. Low-

grade gliomas don’t grow or spread as fast as

high-grade gliomas.



There are multiple types of gliomas. Types of

gliomas are named after the cell from which

they derived and other cell features (molecular




Larger gliomas are more likely to cause

symptoms. Which symptom will occur partly

depends on where the tumor is in the central

nervous system and how fast it grows.

Helpful Tip


There will be those who say ‘so

and so had cancer so I know all about

it,’ even if ‘so and so’ has an entirely

different cancer. It is ok to stress to

them that every cancer is different

and every patient reacts differently.

Your cancer is your cancer, and sadly,

no one will truly understand what you

are going through.