Glioblastoma- Basics

Glioblastoma (also called "glioblastoma multiforme" or "GBM") is a fast growing type of brain cancer. Brain cancer happens when normal cells in the brain change into abnormal cells and grow out of control.

Brain cancers can be named after the type of cell they start from. GBM starts in the "glial" cells of the brain. Glial cells go between and around the brain's nerve cells.

As GBM grows, it can spread into healthy parts of the brain. It can also cause brain swelling. Both of these things can cause symptoms.

Getting radiation treatment earlier in life can raise a person's risk for GBM.

What are the symptoms of glioblastoma? — The most common symptoms include:

●Memory or thinking problems
●Muscle weakness
●Vision changes, such as double vision or vision loss
●Language problems, such as trouble finding the right word for something
●Personality changes
Other conditions can also cause these symptoms. But you should tell your doctor or nurse if any of these things happen.

Will I need tests? — Yes. The doctor will do an exam and order imaging tests, such as an MRI or a CT scan. Imaging tests create pictures of your brain. The pictures can show GBM or other abnormal growths. They can also show other kinds of changes that might be causing symptoms.

To tell if a person has GBM, doctors need to look at a sample of the tumor under the microscope. If the doctor thinks a brain tumor might be GBM, he or she usually does surgery to take out as much of the tumor as possible. Then, another doctor looks at a small sample of tumor tissue under a microscope. The sample can show if the tumor is GBM, a different type of brain tumor, or a sign of another brain condition.

Some people with GBM do not have surgery to remove the tumor. If the doctor does not do surgery, he or she might use a needle to take a small sample from the tumor. This can be done if:

●The GBM is in a part of the brain where surgery is too risky
●The GBM is too large for surgery to help
●The person is too sick for surgery
How is glioblastoma treated? — Treatment for GBM usually includes:

●Surgery – During surgery, doctors take out as much of the GBM as they can. This can help with symptoms and help people live longer. But surgery can hurt healthy areas of the brain. During surgery, doctors take out what they can without hurting healthy areas.
●Radiation therapy – Radiation kills some of the cancer cells. Most people with GBM have radiation therapy after surgery.
●Chemotherapy – "Chemotherapy" is the term doctors use for medicines that kill cancer cells. Most people with GBM have chemotherapy after surgery.
After surgery, doctors usually give radiation therapy and chemotherapy at the same time.

GBM can cause seizures and brain swelling. Doctors can give medicines or do surgery to treat these symptoms.

What happens after treatment? — After treatment, you will have regular checkups to see if the GBM comes back. This includes having imaging tests (usually MRIs) of the brain.

You should watch for the common symptoms of GBM, and any other symptoms you had before your doctor found the GBM. Having symptoms could mean the GBM has come back. Tell your doctor or nurse about any symptoms you have.

What if the glioblastoma comes back? — In most people, GBM comes back after treatment. If an imaging test shows changes in the brain after treatment, the changes could be caused by the GBM coming back, or they could be changes that happen in response to treatment. It can be hard to tell the difference between these changes. The doctor might do repeat imaging tests to see if the changes are cancer.

If GBM comes back or spreads, you might have more surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or other treatments. Your doctor or nurse will talk with you about the best treatment for you.

Should I be in a clinical trial? — If you have GBM, you might want to be in a "clinical trial." A clinical trial is a research study that tests new medicines and treatments to see how well they work.

Being in a clinical trial might or might not change your symptoms or help you live longer. But it can give doctors more information about GBM and how to treat it. Information from the study can help them create new and better medicines and treatments.

There are clinical trials for GBM all over the world. To find out more about being in a clinical trial, talk with your doctor.

What else should I do? — You should follow your doctor's instructions about checkups and tests. Talk to your doctor about any problems during treatment.

If GBM comes back, tell your doctors and nurses how you feel about the different treatments. Any time your doctor talks with you about a new treatment, ask:

●What are the benefits of this treatment? Will it help me live longer? Will it reduce my symptoms or stop them?
●What bad things could happen if I have this treatment?
●Do I have other choices besides this treatment?
●What happens if I do not have this treatment? more  

View all 7 comments Below 7 comments
I pray to God to give strength to all the sufferers and enable them to come out of it and live happily. more  
can you please give me your mobile number as i want to start the same this month and my chemo cycles are over. more  
Also in my case i got a very good support during my treatment, but when i joined back to work, i was not given major responsibility said, "not top worry much for my brain and keeping away me" and then one by one all the works was taken back from me and colleagues started tonting me like, i am a burden on the department and i am not able to work as per my designation, then i spoke to HR and they said that my team is supporting me due to ,my condition and i took all the bad comments on me silently as i was on a provision period, but when i asked for completion of my provision, i was given a notice to way out of company. this I am talking about a well known Multinational company. whose name i dont want to make public and probably the higher management didn't know about this. and also i came to know today that someone has spread the news in my job market that due to my in-capabilities, i have shown way out from company. more  
Companies need to support their own Employees in this case. TVS Group directors supported my brother in law during the critical period of post operative surgery. Even they have supported him a lot when the symptoms developed during end of the year 2014 (But diagnosed GBM on June 2015). He was on Bed rest for a month. Resumed to work since August. He was advised not to drive and slowly added with more responsibility. Last week he was on tour for 3 days . Back to normal. You need to have a good boss and company. more  
My BIL was operated for GBM 7 months back. Tumor was big in Size. He was advised to go for Chemo & Radiation to survive with pain atleast for another 1 and half year.(otherwise he would die in 2 months) It was a grave prognosis. So, we have decided to go against the conventional method of combo "Chemo&Radiation"). He is taking ayurveda treatment from an AYurvedacharya (MD) for the past 6 months. 2 months ultimatum given by the surgeon passed. MRI was done 3 weeks back and the report was very much encouraging and there is no further growth of any Tumor. Blood vessels are cleared. He is attending office regularly for the past 5-6 months without any major or minor issues. Another friend of mine is in london, 40 years old working for TCS. Operated twice for GBM, slipped in to Coma once after radiation & Chemo. Recovered but lost his strength to face another worst cycle of chemo/radiation. Surgeons / Oncos sealed his fate(!!!). (3 months Ultimatum since further treatment was not possible). Fortunately he got the reference of a Homeopath in Delhi who is treating Cancer patient successfully. He is taking treatment from him for the past , more than an year and his mind set and health condition is greatly improved. Three months Ultimatum given by Onco's passed. These are all known success stories of GBM patients getting cured with Ayurveda and Homeopathy. Allopathy doesn't have any answer for this. No one can decide anyone's life. more  
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