Glioblastoma

The nerve cells in our body are supported by cells known as astrocytes. In some cases, the glioblastoma condition that affects the brain can lead to various complications. This is an aggressive type of brain cancer and it can progress very fast and can lead to fatal consequences. In many cases, it can even affect the spinal cord and cause a lot of pain. Older people are more likely to get affected with this condition even though it can affect youngsters at any age. The sad thing is that treatment can only slow down this condition and there is often no cure for this disease. In most cases, it leads to fatal consequences.

Symptoms of Glioblastoma

- The symptoms of this disease are not specific and this can be confusing to diagnose the condition in the early stages. It also depends on the size of a tumour and the region in which it is located in the brain. Remember that this progresses very fast and it can lead to various complications.

- Some of the common symptoms include a headache combined with a feeling of nausea. It happens regularly for no reason and you should never neglect such symptoms.

- Some patients also complain about memory loss as they are not able to recollect various events in their life and this can happen all of a sudden without any particular reason.

- It is also common to notice confusion with regards to decision making and it affects the overall functioning of the brain.

- There may be some drastic changes in personality without any specific reasons and the patients generally tend to get irritated easily when they are suffering from this condition.

- Many people also have balance problems and this can lead to frequent falls while moving outside.

- Many patients lose control over the bladder and this can lead to embarrassing situations in life.

- It is also noticed that people suffering from this condition usually have problems with vision that includes double vision and blurred vision. In some cases, there may be even loss of vision.

- Patients also experience difficulty in speaking when they are affected by this disease. It can also cause seizures in some cases and this leads to other complications.

Causes of Glioblastoma

- There are no proper medical records to establish the exact cause of this disease. However, there are few things that can be considered as risk factors that may cause this disease.

- It is well known that this disease affects older people more than youngsters. The chances of getting affected by such diseases increase with your age and it is usually seen in people over the age of 60.

- Any exposure to radiation can put you under risk of developing various cancers and brain cancer is also one of them. In some cases, the radiation therapy used to treat other cancers can also lead to this condition even though it is not often. Remember that you can even get exposed to radiation from microwaves and cell phones and you should not stay close to them for long hours.

- When you have a family history of this condition, your chances of getting this disease later in life increases by a huge margin. Even though it is not completely proved, it is generally believed that genetic factors play some role in causing brain tumours in patients.

Diagnosis of Glioblastoma

-  Neurological test : This test is conducted by specialists who are trained to handle neurological problems. They assess the patient for various functions of the brain including speaking, balancing, muscular coordination and vision. Apart from that, even your reflexes will be tested as they indicate the proper working of your brain. When your doctors notice any abnormality in these tests, they may recommend you for further tests to confirm a brain tumour in your body.

-  Imaging test : A proper MRI test will help the doctors to identify many things about a tumour in the brain. This can also show the size of a tumour and doctors will be able to decide on the next course of treatment based on this result. Along with this test, a CT scan and a PET test may also be done depending on the need of the situation.

-  Another test: In many cases, it becomes very important to assess the source of cancer in the body. This is needed as the treatment may vary depending on this factor. For this reason, other tests to determine the presence of cancer cells elsewhere in the body is needed to provide suitable treatment. Remember that glioblastoma begins with the brain and it does not happen due to cancer spreading to the brain from other regions of the body.

-  Biopsy : Finally, a biopsy of a tumour may be needed to begin the treatment and this will provide complete insight into the actual condition of a tumour. It becomes easy to assess the stage of cancer by performing a biopsy and the treatment can be started depending on the level of cancer. When the stage of the cancer is established, it becomes easy to treat the condition as different stages have different methods that provide effective relief from this condition. Some conditions are not yet in the spreading stage and they can be easily handled with surgery. In other cases, the tumours may not be removed completely as it can affect other healthy tissues that are attached to a tumour. In this situation, they will try to reduce the size using targeted therapy and surgery will be able to remove a major portion of a tumour.

Treatment for Glioblastoma

- Surgery : This method is used depending on the size of a tumour and its location within the brain. In some cases, it is easy to remove an entire tumour when it is not connected to the other healthy cells in the brain. In other cases, it may not be possible to remove a tumour entirely as it can affect the normal functioning of the brain. In this situation, only a small portion is removed and other treatment methods are used to reduce the size of a tumour. However, in most cases, surgery is needed to treat this disease.

-  Medication : There are many symptoms of this condition that may interfere with the treatment process and reducing them becomes mandatory in many cases. In this situation, relevant medication is used to control symptoms and this can reduce swelling and pain by a huge margin. It can also control attacks of seizure and this will help the doctors to continue with other treatments without any hurdles.

-  Radiation Therapy : The best treatment provided after surgery is the radiation therapy as this will be useful in targeting the area of treatment in the best possible manner. It is also helpful when the size of a tumour is very large and it can drastically aid in the surgery of a tumour. There are few side effects of this treatment and it depends on the amount of radiation used for the treatment.

-  Chemotherapy : This method of killing tumour cells in the body by using drugs is helpful when the size of a tumour is large. Apart from that, this will also help the body to completely destroy cancer cells and there will be very fewer problems in the future. There are many side effects of this treatment as it even affects some healthy cells in the body and leads to various complications.

-  Rehabilitation : Finally after the treatment is provided for this condition, some amount of rehabilitation may be needed depending on the extent of treatment provided to the patient. You need to understand that a combination of different treatments can have many side effects and it can cause some damage to your body. In many cases, people may need physiotherapy to regain their strength and this will also help them with regaining the motor skills. Some people may experience problems with speech and they may need some speech therapy after the cancer treatment is completed.

Complications of Glioblastoma

- When this condition is not treated at the right time, it can lead to several complications and even lead to death in many cases.

- Some of the common complications include seizures and this will affect your everyday living and make it impossible for you to get involved in strenuous physical activities.

- You may even be unable to lead an active lifestyle as this can affect your balance and other important functions of the brain.

- Some patients also become partially immobile due to decreased neurological functions and surgery is needed to rectify this problem.

- Even surgery cannot guarantee a complete cure and there are many side effects of the treatments offered for this disease. You will often notice that patients who undergo chemotherapy sessions become very tired and it will take many months for them to come to normal condition.

- When radiation therapy is used, it can damage the nearby healthy tissues and when this happens in the brain region, your overall health may take a hit. Remember that damaging the healthy and active cells of the brain can cause further troubles depending on the area in which a tumour is located.

- In many cases, doctors do not even completely remove a tumour for this reason when it is attached to some sensitive areas of the brain. In this situation, only a part of a tumour is removed and other methods like radiation therapy are used to reduce the size of a tumour.

- However, this can only provide relief from some symptoms of this condition and it cannot completely cure cancer in any manner.

- Many people face extreme complications even after surgery and this can only give partial relief from cancer. There is no complete cure for this disease and it can easily cause death in most cases.

Myths about Glioblastoma

Myth #1:  Glioblastoma is not fatal : Many people underestimate this form of cancer and believe that they can easily get cured with proper treatment. However, you need to understand that treatment can reduce the symptoms to a large extent and there is no complete cure for this disease. In most cases, it can even lead to fatal consequences as it affects the normal functioning of the brain. For this reason, you should never neglect this issue and always get proper treatment at the right time.

Myth #2:  Glioblastoma only affects elders : There is no reason to believe that it affects only elders as it can even affect youngsters. However, elder people are more prone to getting this condition and their brain can easily get affected due to this condition. You should always watch out for the symptoms and get yourself diagnosed properly to get treatment at the initial stages. This ensures that the condition does not spread to other regions and create a lot of complications in the future.

Conclusion

When you are diagnosed with brain cancer, you should get immediate treatment as the condition can progress at a quick pace and lead to severe complications. As soon the diagnosis is completed, you may be suggested to go for surgery to remove a tumour from the brain. Remember that this is one of the most complicated areas of the body and it is not an easy task to remove a tumour from this region. In some cases, the affected area may be located in a critical area of the brain and doctors may not be able to completely remove a tumour. In this situation, they will only be able to reduce the symptoms and provide some relief from the effects of brain cancer. However, a complete cure may not be possible even after surgery and it can only prolong the lifespan of the patients by reducing the symptoms. There is no known way to prevent this disease and it is not yet established as to what causes this disease in the brain. For this reason, it makes sense to pay attention to the symptoms so that you can begin the treatment at the early stages and prevent the situation from getting worse. It can easily affect the various functions of the brain and lead to partial or even complete immobilization in many patients. Surgery is the only way to get some relief from this disease and it is usually accompanied by chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Last updated on : 14-09-2018

Disclaimer : Docprime doesn’t endorse or take any guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of information provided under this article and these are the views strictly of the writer. Docprime shall not be held responsible for any aspect of healthcare services administered with the information provided on this article.

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