Glioblastoma or also called glioblastoma multiforme is a type of malignant cancer that grows in the brain or spinal cord. This type of cancer can affect anyone, but it is more common in adults and the elderly.
Glioblastoma is formed from astrocyte cells, which are cells that support the work of nerve cells. Glioblastoma generally grows in the brain, precisely the frontal lobe (anterior part) and the temporal lobe (lateral). However, this type of brain cancer can also grow in the brain stem, cerebellum, and spinal cord.
Glioblastoma cancer cells can grow and spread very rapidly in the patient’s brain, as these cancer cells can provide their own blood supply. Nevertheless, glioblastoma cancer cells rarely spread to other parts of the body.
Causes and Risk Factors of Glioblastoma
To date, the cause of glioblastoma has not been determined. However, the growth of glioblastoma cancer cells is thought to be related to gene changes. In addition, there are several other factors that make a person more at risk of suffering from glioblastoma, namely:
- Male gender
- Age over 50 years
- Caucasian and Asian races
- Glioblastoma Symptoms
Because glioblastoma can grow and spread rapidly, symptoms first felt by patients are generally caused by pressure on the brain. Symptoms can also vary, depending on the location of the cancer cells growing, among them are:
- Prolonged headache
- Vomiting, especially in the morning
- Difficulty of thinking
- Difficulty of speaking
- Change of mood
- Personality change
- Double or blurred vision
- Memory loss (amnesia)
- Loss of appetite
- Weak one side of the body (hemiparesis)
- Weak muscles
Treatment of Glioblastoma
When a person experiences the above complaints, the doctor will first look more closely at his symptoms and health history. From here, the doctor will estimate the cause of the symptoms and confirm them with a series of examinations, from nerve examinations, imaging tests with a CT scan or MRI, to a biopsy.
After that, the new doctor can diagnose whether the patient actually has glioblastoma or not. If the diagnosis is glioblastoma, there are several treatments that may be recommended, including:
- Surgery, to lift as many cancer cells as possible
- Radiotherapy, to kill the remaining cancer cells
- Chemotherapy, performed in conjunction with or after radiotherapy
In addition, other medications that may be prescribed for glioblastoma patients are:
- Anticonvulsant, to reduce pain and the risk of seizures due to cancer
- Corticosteroids, to reduce swelling of the brain
Glioblastoma is generally very difficult to treat, as these malignant cancers are shaped like fingers that are difficult to lift during surgery. In addition, this cancer also consists of different types of malignant cells, and the treatment given is usually only effective on certain cell types.
Therefore, the main goal of glioblastoma treatment is to slow down and control the growth of cancer cells, not cure. In addition, treatment is also done to help relieve symptoms, so that patients with glioblastoma can live more comfortably.
Glioblastoma is a malignant cancer that can spread rapidly. The more it spreads, the harder it is to handle. Therefore, early diagnosis of glioblastoma will be better for the patient.
21st October 2020 14:54