Primary Brain Tumors – Glioblastoma

Tumors that start within the spinal cord or the brain are called primary brain tumors. Although there are many types of primary brain tumors, in adults, Gliomas are one of the most common.

Glioma is not a specific type of cancer; they are tumors that grow within the glial cells, which are a type of supportive cells in the brain. There are 4 types of gliomas: astrocytoma, oligodendroglioma, ependymoma and brain stem glioma. The most common glioma is Astrocytoma who has 4 grades and grade 4 is a glioblastoma multiforme.

Glioblastoma may also be known as glioblastoma multiforme; they form from cells called astrocytes, which are cells that support nerve cells.

Glioblastoma tumors make their own blood supply, which helps them grow and, at times, enables them to invade normal brain tissue.

Glioblastomas Symptoms

Symptoms of glioblastomas could develop suddenly due to the mass causing pressure on the brain or from the fluid buildup around the tumor, causing swelling of the brain. Depending on the location of the tumor, other symptoms may include severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, lack of balance, weakness, or sensory changes of the face, memory difficulty, and seizures. Brain tumors are diagnosed after symptoms appear.


Diagnostic tests will be done to establish the location, type, and grade of the tumor. The tests may be different from person to person, depending on the circumstances.
Typically, they include a biopsy, an MRI, CT scan, PET scan, cerebral arteriogram, lumbar puncture, myelogram, neurological, vision, and hearing tests, neurocognitive assessment, EEG, and evoked potentials examination to measure the electrical activity of nerves.


It is important to consult with a multidisciplinary team in the decisions for treating Glioma. Treatment could include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy. In glioblastoma specifically.

The body’s blood-brain barrier protects the brain and spinal cord from harmful chemicals, which makes the treatment of primary brain cancer more challenging, however, new research over the past few years, has resulted in significant new surgery techniques and new treatments which have shown positive results and the ability to improve the quality of life for many people suffering from primary brain cancer.

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