Glioblastoma is a quick-spreading cancer that starts in the spinal cord and brain. The destruction of healthy astrocyte cells occurs in individuals of all ages but is more common in older men. The cells this cancer destroys support the body’s nerves. Unfortunately, this cancer has no cure and treatments only slow its progression. This is what you should know.
Much of the treatment for this cancer is somewhat controversial because it does not cure the cancer. Therefore, Glioblastoma Foundation professionals focus on searching for new treatments and finding cures for this disease, which comprises 50% of all brain tumors and can reduce the patients’ lifespans significantly. Some individuals only live an additional 15 months after diagnosis.
Glioblastoma Symptoms and Diagnosis
Individuals with Glioblastoma can experience headaches, nausea, seizures and vision challenges. The headaches tend to get progressively worse, and their vision could blur or things may appear to double. Some individuals also experience neck pain and social challenges as well as difficulty completing everyday cognitive functions, such as balancing a checkbook. They may even have trouble making decisions.
Initial diagnoses include imaging technology, such as an MRI, CT or PET scan. Specialists may also have their patients complete vision, balance, hearing, strength, reflex and coordination tests to identify where the cancer is in the brain. Tissue testing or biopsies are common to determine malignancy and the type of cancer cells they are. Physicians can complete tissue tests during removal surgery or prior to it using a needle.
According to the Glioblastoma Foundation, treatment begins with surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy follow the surgery. New therapies, including tumor treating fields and targeted therapy, may accompany radiation and chemotherapy.
Hospitals and foundations also provide clinical trials for new therapies. The Right To Try law allows terminal patients to test experimental drugs and trials as well. To relieve pain near the end of life, patients may receive palliative care.
Although Glioblastoma is a terminal illness, but new treatments and technologies may improve survival and quality of life.