Health & Fitness

What is the life expectancy of living with glioblastoma brain cancer?

The life expectancy of a person with glioblastoma brain cancer depends on various factors. For this, you may need to understand the disease including its symptoms and risk factors. Glioblastoma is also called glioblastoma multiforme. Glioblastoma is the group of tumors called astrocytomas. These tumors start in star-shaped cells called astrocytes. These cells help to support and provide nourishment to the nervous system present in the brain. A glioblastoma may contain many different types of cells including dead brain cells. It affects about 12-15% of people going through the different stages of the tumor.

If you or anyone you know is going through underlying symptoms of a brain tumor, let the immediate medical consultant know the symptoms. You may also require to protect the life of a person by giving him/her palliative care. You can also consult the experts of Lifeline Hospital.

Glioblastoma and related facts

  • Glioblastoma is one of the aggressive and major problematic diseases that can happen to anyone. It affects the brain and the spinal cord.
  • Glioblastoma can occur to anyone or at any age. However, it tends to occur more often in adults. It can cause the worst situations of headaches, nausea, vomiting, and seizures.
  • It is one of the most difficult types of cancer. The treatments, however, show progression in cancer and may reduce the risk factors, symptoms, and signs.
  • This is one of the major types of brain tumors that grows at a fast rate inside the brain. The cells copy themselves and possess a lot of the space of the blood vessels to feed. There is rarely any chance that it may spread to other body parts.
  • Glioblastoma is sometimes called grade 4 astrocytoma tumors. There is a scale that ranges from number 1 to 4. The scaling indicates how fast the tumor is growing and spreading inside the body.
  • A grade 4 is the most aggressive scaling of the brain tumor. It spreads at a faster rate and throughout the brain.

What are the types of glioblastoma?

The life expectancy of a person with glioblastoma brain cancer depends on the types of glioblastoma and its occurrence in the body. Majorly, there are two different types of glioblastoma cancer. It can be:

  • Primary (de novo): It is one of the most common types of glioblastoma cancer. It is an aggressive type of cancer that dominates the whole body system.
  • Secondary glioblastoma: It is comparatively less common and grows at a slower rate. It starts with low-grade and is called less aggressive astrocytoma. However, it affects nearly 10% of people with this type of brain cancer. The disease can affect people over the age of 40 or 45 or even younger.

Glioblastomas often grow in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. They can also affect other parts of the brain including the brain stem, cerebellum, spinal cord, and other different parts.

What are the survival rates and life expectancy of a person with glioblastoma brain cancer?

The minimum survival time with glioblastoma brain cancer is around 15 -16 months. People may get surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy treatments. There are chances that people may survive till the symptoms of the grain cancer persist in the body. However, the chances of survival for people affected with glioblastoma are different for every different person. Some may survive to at least 5 years which is itself a rare period of expectancy.

What is the survival rate in children?

Children possessing high-grade cancer tend to survive longer than adults. Around 25% of kids possess a survival rate of 5 years or more.

How far can the expectancy of survival increase?

Many new treatments are advancing in the field of cancers and their treatment. It can provide better survival rates. It is the kind of treatment that repairs damaged cells. Treatments like chemotherapy kill glioblastoma cells and MGMT is the type of treatment that fixes them. MGMT methylation prevents the re[pair of the aggressive tumor cells and ensures that more cells are killed.

What are the glioblastoma treatments?

Glioblastoma is the kind of disease that is hard to treat. The most important fact is that glioblastoma cancers grows at faster rate. The tumors of this type have many different types of cells. For some people, few treatments may work and for others, none of the treatments may work. However, the treatment options include:

  • Surgery

Your surgeon may handle the surgery of your glioblastoma cancer. The goal of the surgery is to remove the tumor as much as possible. And because the tumor is growing at a faster rate, a complete removal is not possible. It may also be because of the presence of tumors in the normal brain cells. For this reason, people are given additional treatments after surgery. This may affect the remaining cells of the cancers that are growing quickly.

  • Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy utilizes high-energy beams. It accompanies the use of X-rays and protons rays that kill the cancer cells. During radiation therapy, your surgeon may suggest you lie down on the table while the machine moves around you. This may direct the beams to the precise points of the brain. Your surgeon may follow radiation therapy faster than surgery or after chemotherapy. It can also be given as a primary treatment.

  • Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy utilizes the drugs that kill the cancer cells. In certain cases, there come thin circular wafers that contain chemotherapy medicines. These are placed inside the brain during the surgery. The wafers dissolve slowly and release the medicine. The medicine in the wafers affects the cancer cells and their growth. After the surgery, your doctor may prescribe you chemotherapy drugs such as temozolomide (Temodar) that may be taken as part of the treatment.

  • Tumor treating fields (TTF) therapy

It is the type of treatment that utilizes electric field radiation to disrupt the tumor cells. TTF may involve the attachment of the adhesive pads to your scalp. These pads accompany the portable device that generates electric fields. Your surgeon may follow this treatment after chemotherapy.

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