What is the definition of Glioblastoma?
Glioblastoma is the most aggressive type of brain cancer. Glioblastoma develops from glial cells, which are specialized cells that surround and support neurons (nerve cells) in the brain.
Glioblastomas are classified as malignant Grade 4 tumors, meaning that they are rapidly reproducing and spreading.
What are the alternative names for Glioblastoma?
Glioblastoma may also be referred to as glioblastoma multiforme or GBM.
What are the causes for Glioblastoma?
The causes of glioblastoma are not well defined. However, glioblastoma can rarely occur in individuals who have had previous radiation therapy, or individuals who have genetic conditions including neurofibromatosis and Li-Fraumeni syndrome.
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What are the symptoms for Glioblastoma?
The symptoms of glioblastomas vary by location of the tumor. Common symptoms of glioblastoma include increased pressure in the brain, headaches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, memory issues, and seizures.
What are the current treatments for Glioblastoma?
There is currently no cure for glioblastoma. Treatment depends on several factors including the size and location of the tumor, as well as the patient's overall health. Most treatment plans are palliative and designed based on an individual patient's unique situation.
In general, treatment for glioblastoma may include surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy.
Surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible is generally the first step in treating glioblastoma. However, if a tumor is located near a sensitive area in the brain, surgery may not be possible at all.
Radiation therapy often follows surgery for the treatment of glioma. Radiation therapy involves the use of high-energy beams, including X-rays or protons, to destroy tumor cells.
Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs, either taken orally or injected through a vein, to kill tumor cells. Chemotherapy is often used in combination with radiation therapy.
What is the outlook (prognosis) for Glioblastoma?
The prognosis for individuals with glioblastoma is poor. There is currently no cure for glioblastoma, and many people live less than a year after they're diagnosed. Individuals who've had a portion of their tumor removed, or individuals undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy are likely to experience longer survival.
How do I prevent Glioblastoma?
There is no known way to prevent glioblastomas. However, if you develop any symptoms common to a glioblastoma, it is recommended to make an appointment with your doctor to be properly diagnosed.