What is Glioblastoma or GBM Grade IV cancer?
Glioblastoma is also known as Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) which is a type of brain cancer. Among adults, it is most common type of malignant brain tumour. Basically, it is a malignant Grade IV tumour which spread quickly and grows fast in brain.
Let us tell you that there are multiple grades of gliomas i.e. grade II, III and IV but the grade IV is most malignant. Glioblastoma is considered as grade IV tumour.
Where it occurs in the brain?
Glioblastoma is a type of cancer that forms in the brain from star-shaped cells known as astrocytes and the cancer is also called as astrocytoma. It starts in adults in the largest part of the brain that is cerebrum. This type of tumour doesn’t need blood from any where they supply itself due to which they grow easily and quickly.
We can say that Glioblastomas occur is the lobe of the brain, stem of the brain and cerebellum. But more commonly occur in the frontal and temporal lobe.
Is this cancer is common?
It is said that it is most common in males, persons older than 50 and people of Caucasian or Asian ethnicity. Also, brain cancers are not common.
What are the symptoms of Glioblastoma Cancer?
It depends upon the location where the tumour is located in the brain, from where it originated, the rate of growth etc. Also, symptoms depend upon the fluid that surrounds the tumour and causes brain swelling.
Common Symptoms are as follows:
- Constant Headache
- Trouble in thinking or memory loss
- Mood swings and changes in personality
- Blurred vision or sometimes double also.
- Disturbance in speech, problem in speaking
- Muscle weakness
- Weakness or sensory changes of face, arm or leg
- Difficulties in balance
Now the question arises that how Glioblastoma tumour is diagnosed?
The diagnosis of Glioblastoma tumour is done by a neurologist, a doctor who has specialisation in diagnosing and treating disorders of brain. Several tests, MRI or CT scan are performed which depends upon the symptoms of the patient.
Procedure for the treatment of Glioblastoma
Main focus of the doctors is to slow and control the growth of the tumour as much as possible. The treatments given to the patients are surgery, radiation therapy, Chemotherapy and Electric field therapy.
The first treatment given to the patient is the surgery. Doctors remove tumour in high risk areas of the brain as much as possible.
In Radiation treatment the left over tumour is killed and also slow the growth of the tumour which can't be removed from the surgery.
In Chemotherapy the most common type of drug given to the patient by the doctors is Temozolomide for glioblastoma. This therapy causes short time side effects but is much less toxic.
Surgically glioblastoma is not curable, only the good part is to remove the tumour as much as possible. But in radiation and chemotherapy treatment progression of the tumour can be delayed.
In Electric field therapy the electric fields are used to target the cells in the tumour while not hurting the normal cells. For this doctor insert electrodes directly into the scalp. The device with the help of this is done is known as Optune. Let us tell you that this FDA therapy has been approved for both newly diagnosed people and people whose glioblastoma has come back.
No doubt palliative care is important for the patient who is suffering from this disease. It includes taking care of pain and also emotions the person suffers during the course of this disease.