What is Glioblastoma?
Glioblastoma is a type of cancer that develops in the brain. When normal healthy cells become abnormal, they grow abnormally and out of control. One of these types of cancers in the brain is glioblastoma.
Screening for cancer means looking for cancer before it causes any symptoms. Currently, there is no screening test for glioblastoma, and it is found when evaluating the source of symptoms experienced.
Who’s at risk for glioblastoma?
There are some things that can put people at a higher risk for developing glioblastoma. These can include:
● History of radiation exposure
● Family history of brain tumors
● Family history of tuberous sclerosis, neurofibromatosis type 1 and 2, von-Hippel Lindau syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome
● Weak immune system
Symptoms of Glioblastoma.
The symptoms that may be experienced with glioblastoma can include the following:
● Nausea and vomiting
● Blurred vision or other vision changes
● Significant fatigue
● Personality changes
● Balance problems
● Difficulty speaking
● Hearing loss
● Numbness in some areas of the body
● Trouble swallowing
Evaluation for glioblastoma
If someone is experiencing symptoms as above, they should present to their healthcare provider for evaluation. Some of the tests that may be ordered to evaluate the symptoms can include:
● Blood tests to check blood counts, electrolytes, kidney, and liver function
● CT (computed tomography) scan of the brain
● MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the brain
If any abnormalities are seen on imaging suspicious for cancer, a biopsy may be done to check for the presence of cancer cells. In some instances, surgery to remove the tumor may be necessary for an official diagnosis of glioblastoma.
Early detection is crucial for the treatment of glioblastoma. Even though there is no certain cure for this cancer, with early diagnosis and treatment, patients have a higher chance of survival.