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Brain tumor: Glioblastoma Multiforme

By Edited Nov 14, 2015 0 0

Have you heard of Glioblastoma Multiforme? Do you know that Glioblastoma Multiforme is the most dangerous brain tumors?

Let us look at some facts about brain tumors before we talk about Glioblastoma Multiforme.

Fact about Brain Tumors

There are fundamentally two types of brain tumors.

The first is the primary brain tumors. That means the tumor originates in the brain. Some primary brain tumors are benign. However, Glioblastoma Multiforme is a malignant brain tumor. That means it is cancerous.

The second is the secondary brain tumors. That means the cancer cells originate from other parts of the body, and spread to the brain. All secondary brain tumors are malignant. The fact is that they spread from other parts of the body, and have the ability to break the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain area.

All brain tumors are dangerous. In the cancer definition, brain tumors are Stage 3 or Stage 4 grade. Stage 4 is the terminal stage.

What is Glioblastoma Multiforme?

Glioblastoma Multiforme is the deadliest primary brain tumor.

Glioblastoma Multiforme is a Stage 4 cancer. You will not find Glioblastoma Multiforme progressing from Stage 1 to Stage 4 cancer stage as in other forms of cancers.

When the doctor diagnoses the brain tumor as Glioblastoma Multiforme, it is definitely a Stage 4 cancer.

Glioblastoma Multiforme spreads rapidly. It is common to see the tumors occurring in different parts of the brain.

Even when the doctors can remove the tumor surgically, another tumor will appear soon. There is no cure for Glioblastoma Multiforme. The treatments help to shrink the tumors or to slow the growth. Once the treatment stops, the tumor grows.

Who gets Glioblastoma Multiforme?

Everyone can get Glioblastoma Multiforme.

It is more common in people above the age of 55. That does not mean people in other age groups are safe. Children can get Glioblastoma Multiforme as well.

There are more male patients than female patients. The reason for this is unknown.

The problem is that Glioblastoma Multiforme is the most common form of primary brain tumors.

Despite the fact that so many patients suffer from this dangerous brain cancer, there is no cure for it.

What are the causes of Glioblastoma Multiforme?

Nobody really knows. It seems that there is not a single factor accounting for the occurrence of this particular dangerous brain tumor.

Even smoking is not deemed as a factor for this primary brain tumor.

There are speculations about the relationship between the use of cell phones and the increasing rate of Glioblastoma Multiforme. However, studies are not conclusive. The speculations remain as speculations.

What are the symptoms of Glioblastoma Multiforme?

The symptoms of Glioblastoma Multiforme are very similar to all other brain tumors.

The symptoms of brain tumors depend on which part of the brain the tumor grows. If the tumor cells grow in the part of the brain that affects speech, the symptoms include blur speech and other factors affecting speech.

In the case of Glioblastoma Multiforme, the symptoms are rather common. That includes dizziness, headaches, speech problem, vision problem, motor abilities, and seizures.

Since Glioblastoma Multiforme can grow and spread from one part of the brain to another, it is hard to pinpoint a symptom that is unique to Glioblastoma Multiforme.

How to diagnose Glioblastoma Multiforme?

The most conclusive diagnosis is a biopsy. That means the removal of a piece of tumor for analysis.

However, before the doctor can remove a piece of the tumor, he needs to know where the tumor is located.

An X-ray of the head, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Computed Tomography (CT) Scan are common methods to locate and confirm the appearance of brain tumor.

What are the treatments for Glioblastoma Multiforme?

Surgical removal of Glioblastoma Multiforme is done whenever possible.

This is the preferred method. However, surgical removal for brain tumors is not always possible. The fact that the tumors occur in the brain, which is the control panel of our bodies, make surgical procedure risky.

When the risk of surgical removal is unacceptable, since it can kill the patients, the doctors will use other treatment methods.

Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are both used to control the growth of the tumors.

Radiotherapy is used in nearly all the cases, while chemotherapy is used whenever possible to supplement the effect of radiotherapy.

The problem with continuous radiotherapy and chemotherapy is the harm to the body cells. The drugs and the radiation kill healthy cells as well as cancerous cells.

It is impossible for a person undergoing continuous treatments to work or live without a full time caregiver.

What is the prognosis for Glioblastoma Multiforme?

Glioblastoma Multiforme is a terminal condition.

There is no cure. If a patient does not seek treatment, the average lifespan is just three months.

Even with surgical removal, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, a person rarely lives more than two years.

It is very rare for a person to survive more than five years.

It is nearly impossible for a person above the age of 70 to survive five years after diagnosis of Glioblastoma Multiforme.



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