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.
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.