Glioblastoma multiforme is one of the deadliest forms of brain cancer and is caused due to the development of cancer cells in the brain.
Symptoms of glioblastoma multiforme
The symptoms of glioblastoma are similar to those caused by different types of cancers. Some of them include:
- Seizures and convulsions
- Headaches that increase in frequency and become worse in the morning
- Blurred vision, flashes of light and other vision problems
- Inexplicable cases of nausea and vomiting
- Unexpected sensations in the arms and legs that may result in balance problems, trouble in maintaining one’s posture, walking difficulties, etc.
- Hearing problems, such as loss of hearing, ringing sound in the ears, etc; speaking problems such as slurred speech, incompressible use of the language, etc
- Behavior and personality changes that may result in mood swings, increased aggressiveness or passivity, etc
Causes of glioblastoma multiforme
- The exact causes of glioblastoma are not known. It is believed that mutations of the DNA in the brain cells result in growth of abnormal cells that cause the tumors.
- Some risk factors that increase the vulnerability to developing the condition include exposure to radiation or certain chemicals, a family history of the condition, an increased age of over fifty, etc.
Glioblastoma multiforme treatment
- Surgery to remove the tumor and cancer cells. This can result in certain side effects. Hence, one has to consult with the oncologist before opting for surgery.
- Radiation therapy that employs intense rays of radiation that are specifically directed to destroy the cancer cells
- Chemotherapy that involves intravenous administration of special cancer killing drugs
- Targeted drug therapy that employs certain drugs to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. One such drug can prevent the flow of blood to the cancer cells and thus stop it sustaining itself.
Glioblastoma multiforme life expectancy
The survival rate for glioblastoma generally depends on the severity level of the cancer as well as the response to treatment. This dangerous form of brain cancer has a very low rate of occurrence. Even though there have been vast advancements in medical science, the survival rate for this disease is very low. Glioblastoma multiforme is not only considered life-threatening but also incurable.
The survival rate for glioblastoma patients is currently at less than ten percent.
The disease is usually diagnosed in the advanced stages wherein the cancer cells have already spread to various regions of the brain and have damaged most of the tissues in the brain. The symptoms become visible only after the disease has deteriorated into an incurable stage. Hence the survival rate for the condition is very low. Glioblastoma generally tends to affect individuals over the age of fifty years and as the age of the patient increases, the survival rate also dips at an increasing rate.
Without prompt treatment a patient will generally die within three months of diagnosis. The new methods of treatment have upped the survival rate, but constant research is on to up the survival rate even more. A new method of treatment involves boosting the immune system with drugs to enhance its capability to fight the cancer cells and it may result in improving the survival rate for glioblastoma.