Glioblastoma is the technical term for a group of brain tumors that affect parts of the brain and spinal cord. There are basically two types of brain tumors primary and mestatic. Primary tumors normally stay confined to the brain without spreading. Mestatic tumors start from cancer cells found in other parts of the body which spread to the brain through the blood. Each type has different treatments. Here is a look at possible causes symptoms and treatments for Glioblastoma Multiforme the most common aggressive and deadly form of this cancer.
Symptoms Of Glioblastoma
A person with a tumor on the brain will experience a multitude of symptoms. During early stages a person may have no signs at all. In later stages a person may experience:
- Horrible Headache
- Loss Of Vision
- Change In Personality
- Speech Impediment
- Memory Loss
- Poor Coordination And Trouble Walking
Causes Of Glioblastoma Multiforme
- Viruses: There have been links between particular viruses and the development of this type of tumor. Simian Virus 40 and Cytomegalovirus are the two most common. Simian Virus 40 is genetic while Cytomegalovirus is herpes related.
- Genetic Defects: People who have certain chromosomal mutations are at a high risk for developing this type of brain tumor. This defect may be caused by various environmental factors like exposure to radiation or similar chemicals.
- Diseases: Tuberous Sclerosis Neurofibromatosis and Von Hippel Lindau Disease are all conditions which can lead to brain cancer.
- Tumors Already Present: People who already have benign tumors on the brain are more likely to develop these types of tumors as well.
Testing For Severe Brain Tumors
After a person experiences any of the above symptoms and suspects that a brain tumor is present it is essential to visit the doctor. A physician is likely to order a CAT scan or MRI and other routine tests. Blood tests will be performed for better detection as well. After cancer is diagnosed a biopsy will be taken for further examination.
Treatment For Severe Brain Tumors
Brain cancer treatment is never simple. The treatment will depend on the size and location of the tumor. The most common options include:
- Surgery: The most common way to treat cancer of the brain is through surgery. Most people fear this procedure since it involves drilling into the skull. After tumors are removed symptoms usually go away. One of the latest procedures is a radiosurgery which is much less invasive and does not involve cutting into the skull. With this treatment a doctor uses an MRI to locate the cancer and target it with a beam of radiation to destroy the tumor. After surgery a person may be prescribed a steroid medicine to avoid swelling in the area. Anti convulsant medication may also be used to avoid complications.
- Radiation: Radiation treatments use radiation waves to kill off tumors. It is practiced on individuals who cannot withstand surgery. It has much lower side effects compared to other treatments since it only affects a targeted area.
- Chemotherapy: Chemo treatments involve a course of drugs which kill cancer cells. Oral medication or IV treatments are utilized. There are numerous side effects of this treatment including nausea and hair loss.
There are many forms of cancer including tumors which affect the brain. Certain brain tumors can be severe and bring devastating symptoms. There is no known way to prevent these from forming and certain people are more likely to develop these tumors than others. Glioblastoma Multiforme is one of the worst forms of this cancer which is usually treated with surgery chemotherapy or radiation.