Glioblastoma is a highly aggressive form of brain cancer that affects the brain’s supportive tissue. It is the most common type of malignant brain tumor in adults and is also one of the most difficult to treat. In this blog, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for glioblastoma.
The exact cause of glioblastoma is not yet known. However, researchers have identified several risk factors that may increase the likelihood of developing the disease. These risk factors include exposure to ionizing radiation, a family history of brain cancer, and certain genetic mutations.
The symptoms of glioblastoma can vary depending on the location of the tumor in the brain. Some common symptoms include headaches, seizures, memory loss, changes in vision or speech, and difficulty with balance or coordination. These symptoms may develop gradually or occur suddenly, depending on the size and location of the tumor.
The diagnosis of glioblastoma typically begins with a physical examination and a review of the patient’s medical history. Imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans, are used to visualize the brain and detect any abnormalities. A biopsy may also be performed to confirm the diagnosis and determine the type and grade of the tumor.
The treatment of glioblastoma usually involves a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The goal of treatment is to remove as much of the tumor as possible, while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. Depending on the location and size of the tumor, surgery may be followed by radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.
Surgery is usually the first step in treating glioblastoma. The surgeon will remove as much of the tumor as possible, while leaving as much healthy brain tissue intact as possible. This may involve removing a portion of the skull to access the tumor. In some cases, the surgeon may also implant a device, such as a wafer or a catheter, to deliver chemotherapy directly to the tumor site.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. It is often used after surgery to target any remaining cancer cells that may have been missed during the procedure. Radiation therapy may be delivered externally, using a machine that directs radiation at the tumor from outside the body, or internally, using a device implanted directly into the tumor.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It may be used in combination with radiation therapy, or as a standalone treatment for glioblastoma. Chemotherapy drugs may be taken orally, injected into a vein, or delivered directly to the tumor site.
The prognosis for glioblastoma is generally poor. The five-year survival rate for patients with glioblastoma is less than 10 percent. However, there are some factors that may affect the prognosis, including the age and overall health of the patient, the size and location of the tumor, and the extent of the surgery.
Glioblastoma is a highly aggressive form of brain cancer that is difficult to treat. However, with early detection and aggressive treatment, some patients may be able to achieve long-term survival. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of glioblastoma, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.