Glioblastoma brain tumor or glioblastoma multiforme is a malignant cancer that attacks the brain.
According to the Official Website of the American Brain Tumor Association, as many as 15 percent of brain tumor cases are caused by glioblastoma.
The cause of glioblastoma brain cancer originally came from tumors that developed more malignant into stage IV or advanced cancer.
In this phase, most tumor cells have reproduced and grown at a certain time.
Abnormal cell growth is supported and gets blood supply from blood vessels.
Tumors that grow mostly in the form of astrocyte cells (star-shaped cells in the brain), a mixture of blood vessel cells, and dead cells (necrosis).
Glioblastoma cancer cells can infiltrate and attack nearby brain areas.
Sometimes, these cells can spread to the other side of the brain through the nerve fiber channels that connect the left and right brains.
Types of brain tumor glioblastoma
Here are two types of glioblastoma that you should know, among them
- Primary (de novo) is the most common and most aggressive type of glioblastoma.
- Secondary glioblastoma is a rare type and its growth is slower. This condition usually starts from low-level, less aggressive astrocytoma. Most people who get this type of cancer are 45 years of age or younger.
The condition often grows in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. In addition, the condition can also be found in the brain stem, cerebellum, other parts of the brain, and the spinal cord.
Glioblastoma Brain Tumor Causes and Risk Factors
To date, the cause of glioblastoma is not yet known for certain. However, the growth of glioblastoma cancer cells is thought to have an association with gene changes. In addition, there are several other factors that make a person more at risk of glioblastoma, namely:
- Male gender
- Over 50 years old
- Caucasian and Asian races.
Glioblastoma Brain Tumor Symptoms
Because glioblastoma can grow and spread rapidly, the symptoms first felt by sufferers are generally caused by pressure on the brain. Symptoms can also vary depending on the location where cancer cells grow, including:
- Prolonged headaches
- Vomiting, especially in the morning
- Difficulty thinking
- Difficulty speaking
- Mood swings
- Personality changes
- Double or blurred vision
- Memory loss (amnesia)
- Loss of appetite
- Weak one-sided body (hemiparesis)
- Weak muscles.
Diagnosis of glioblastoma brain cancer
To diagnose GBM cancer, your doctor will ask you about the symptoms and your family’s medical history. The doctor will then perform a neurological examination by examining your body’s vision, hearing, balance, coordination, sensation of touch, and strength and reflexes.
In addition, your doctor will ask you to do some tests to determine if you have a brain tumor or other nervous system disorders.
Here are some supporting tests commonly used to diagnose glioblastoma brain cancer:
- Imaging tests to find the location and size of glioblastoma multiforme tumors, such as MRI, CT scans, or PET scans.
- Tissue sampling through a biopsy to determine the type of tumor and the stage of brain cancer.
- Blood tests or other screening procedures to help determine how well certain organs work and get an idea of your overall health.
Glioblastoma Brain Tumor Treatment
The purpose of treatment is to slow down and control the growth of tumors and help a person live comfortably and as well as possible. Here are the treatments that can be done, among them:
Palliative care is important for anyone with a serious illness. This includes taking care of the pain and emotions you may be facing. This method aims to improve the quality of life. Ask your doctor if there are clinical trials suitable for this condition.
Temozolomide is the most common chemotherapy drug used by doctors for glioblastoma. Carmustine (BCNU) and lomustine (CCNU) are other chemotherapy drugs that may be used.
Targeted therapy with the bevacizumab drug can be administered if chemotherapy has not been effective.
Convection-Enhanced Delivery (CED)
CED uses pumps to release a slow and continuous stream of chemotherapy, or targeted therapy to tumors.
Electric Field Therapy
The electric field therapy uses an electric field to target cells in the tumor by not hurting normal cells. To do this, the doctor puts electrodes directly on the scalp. The device is called an optune. You get it with chemotherapy after surgery and radiation. The Food and Drug Administration has approved this method for newly diagnosed people and people whose glioblastoma reappears.
Wafer Therapy (Gliadel)
This uses a biodegradable implant disc, which then releases chemotherapy into the cancerous tissue left behind after surgery.
The therapy uses small particles to bring chemotherapy directly into the tumor. In some people, this treatment helps reduce symptoms and lowers the risk of cancer.