Among all primary malignant brain tumors affecting the central nervous system and brain, glioblastoma is the most common, accounting for sixteen percent of cases. Glioblastoma is an aggressive form of cancer that develops from astrocytes, a type of cell that lends support to nerve cells. Older adults most often develop this cancer, but individuals of all ages can experience it. When this cancer is present, it may cause worsening nausea, seizures, headaches and vomiting. It is often not possible to cure this cancer and treating it may be difficult. However, patients do have options that may help alleviate the symptoms to promote comfort and slow the progression. Doctors may prescribe more than one treatment to best target glioblastoma. Look into common treatment options now.
Radiation therapy is among the most frequently used treatment options for glioblastoma. This therapy kills cancer cells through the use of protons or X-rays. For many patients, this treatment is used following surgery to either fully remove or debulk the tumor. Doctors may recommend external beam radiation, meaning the patient lies on a table and targeted beams are focused on the tumor’s location. This therapy is typically given five days a week for ten to thirty treatment sessions.
Radiation is typically considered to prolong survival rates and improve the outcome for patients compared to surgery alone. Doctors may also recommend radiosurgery if the patient’s glioblastoma is recurring. This allows them to focus radiation on the tumor more precisely, so the healthy surrounding tissues do not receive as much radiation. This is not often used for initial glioblastoma treatment.