Why is it important to learn about glioblastoma? Because it’s an incredibly aggressive cancer that accounts for more than half of all primary brain tumors. If you’re aware of its existence and the symptoms it causes, you have a better chance of getting medical treatment early enough to make a difference.
When you need treatment for glioblastoma, you need an exceptionally skilled neurosurgeon like Richard B. Kim, MD. He puts the full energy of his experience into helping you understand glioblastoma, providing customized and advanced treatments, and supporting your recovery
Glioblastoma, also called grade IV astrocytoma, is a fast-growing, malignant brain tumor. As one of the most aggressive types of brain tumors, it rapidly spreads into the nearby tissues. In some cases, the tumor travels to the other side of your brain.
Unfortunately, these characteristics make glioblastoma one of the deadliest types of brain tumors. For this reason, it’s essential to recognize the problem and get treatment as quickly as possible. The only way you can do that is by understanding the disease and recognizing its symptoms.
A glioblastoma is typically diagnosed between the ages of 45 and 70. The disease is slightly more common in men than women.
Symptoms usually develop quickly as the fast-growing tumor puts pressure on the nearby brain cells.
The most common symptoms caused by the excess pressure include:
Those aren’t the only symptoms you may experience, however. Depending on where the tumor is located in your brain, you may have:
If you have any of the possible symptoms, don’t wait to schedule an appointment for a neurologic evaluation.
An entirely different level of understanding is required of the physician who treats your glioblastoma. There’s no doubt that treating this type of brain tumor requires a skilled neurosurgeon.
Glioblastoma has many genetic mutations and a variety of biochemical forms. These changes must be identified, and then we customize your treatment plan based on the genetic changes.
The first line of treatment for a glioblastoma is surgery to remove the tumor; a procedure that’s quite challenging. Glioblastoma tumors are surrounded by cancer cells that invade the surrounding tissues and can’t be surgically removed without risking damage to healthy brain cells.
Additionally, glioblastomas often occur in or near areas of the brain that control language, sensation, and body movement. We take extra care and use specialized techniques to protect these functions while removing as much of the tumor as possible.
Though we can’t surgically remove the entire tumor, we can eliminate the center of the tumor. Reducing the tumor’s size relieves pressure and improves your symptoms. And then we follow up with radiation therapy that’s usually done together with chemotherapy.
You can also count on receiving today’s most advanced glioblastoma treatments, such as:
With stereotactic radiotherapy, we can precisely treat the tumor with a high dose of radiation while causing little-to-no damage to the surrounding tissues.
Electrical field therapy, also called a tumor-treating field, stops the growth of glioblastoma and kills the cancer cells using low-intensity electrical currents. During this treatment, you wear a cap over your head that creates the tumor-treating electrical field.
If you have questions about symptoms you’re having, don’t hesitate to call us at Richard B. Kim, MD, or schedule an appointment online.