Glioblastoma is a type of aggressive brain cancer that can cause patients to die just a year after diagnosis. The prognosis for patients with this condition is poor. That is because the current treatment is known to be ineffective. New therapies are necessary. Currently, scientists are working on medications, earlier detection techniques and more effective alternative therapies. In the meantime, this is the information people with this diagnosis need to know.
The Glioblastoma Foundation professionals state that approximately 15,000 patients receive this diagnosis yearly. That means that it is about half of all brain tumors.
Glioblastoma symptoms depend on where the tumor is in an individual’s brain. Sometimes, patients may not have any symptoms at all. However, the most common symptoms include the following:
- Headaches or neck pain
- Vision issues
- Mood changes
- Speech difficulties
Other less common symptoms can include social changes, poor decisions and cognitive deficiencies.
According to organizations like the Glioblastoma Foundation, the standard treatment includes surgery to remove the tumor, followed by chemotherapy and radiation. During surgery, the surgeon removes as much of cancer as possible but avoids removing healthy brain tissue and anything that can impact neurological function.
However, surgery is not enough to stop highly invasive glioblastoma tumors. The cells spread into the surrounding tissue, making complete removal of all the cells nearly impossible. Nevertheless, it is still essential because it removes any cells that can make the glioblastoma cells resistant to chemotherapy and radiation.
Present treatments of glioblastoma do not generally offer long-term survival to patients. Therefore, many patients are turning to clinical options. Unfortunately, there are plenty of these available. Anyone with this disease needs to remember this information. When weighing their options, that can help them decide on which treatment to go with. Whatever they choose, getting treatment is critical.