Q:

Can glioblastoma be cured?

A:

Quick Answer

According to Cedars-Sinai, depending on the state of the patient and tumor, glioblastoma is sometimes curable, especially in patients younger than 45 with thoroughly operable tumors. However, a majority of patients who receive this diagnosis die within two years. This is a late stage, invasive brain cancer that requires extreme steps, including surgery, radiation and often chemotherapy to treat.

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Full Answer

Cedars-Sinai warns that the symptoms of glioblastoma, and brain tumors in general, can vary greatly depending on the size and location of the tumor. The potentially hidden nature of brain cancer is why it is sometimes not discovered until it reaches the late glioblastoma stage. The symptoms of glioblastoma, once they appear, are typical of brain tumors and include abnormal heart or breathing rates, dull headaches, difficulties walking or speaking, dizziness, vision disruption, seizures and vomiting. Glioblastoma often produces signs of increased pressure in the head, including a detectable bulge in the back of the eye.

According to Cedars-Sinai, once the symptoms of glioblastoma manifest, extensive testing by a specialist is required for a definitive diagnosis. These tests generally include imaging scans such as MRI or CT scan of the head. Chest X-rays are also often done to find out if the tumor has spread from another part of the body.

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    What is the prognosis if you are diagnosed with glioblastoma?

    A:

    The American Brain Tumor Association indicates that the average life expectancy for adults who receive standard treatment for giloblastoma is between two and three years. For adults diagnosed with more aggressive giloblastoma that requires treatment with temozolamide and radiation therapy, the average life expectancy is 14.6 months. The rate of adults who survive at least two years is 30 percent, and almost 10 percent survive longer than five years.

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    What are the stages of glioblastoma?

    A:

    Glioblastoma, which is a type of cancerous brain tumor, is actually stage IV astrocytoma, according to the National Brain Tumor Society. Stage IV is the most severe form of this brain cancer type that develops from glial cells of the brain called astrocytes. This cancer type tends to occur most commonly in the cerebrum, but it can also develop in the spine or other parts of the brain.

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    What is glioblastoma cancer?

    A:

    Glioblastoma cancer is a highly malignant form of brain cancer that occurs in the star-shaped cells, or astrocytes, that make up the brain's supportive tissue, according to the American Brain Tumor Association. Because of the massive network of blood vessels that feed this area of the brain, glioblastoma cancer cells tend to reproduce rapidly, making it a fast-growing type of cancer.

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  • Q:

    What causes glioblastoma?

    A:

    As of 2015, there is no empirical evidence that indicates specific causes of glioblastoma, states the American Brain Tumor Association. However, there are some risk factors commonly associated with brain glioblastomas, such as radiation to the head during childhood, rare genetic conditions and age, explains WebMD.

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