Understanding the Term Survival Rates for Glioblastoma

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Survival rates can be reported based on different types of treatment as well as if no treatment is received. The quoted survival rate of any disease should be based on the most recent long-term study of that particular disease. Ultimately, the survival rate for any disease is just a statistic to gauge the need and urgency to treat. It also indicates the severity of the disease. Being proactive and seeking treatment is the best course of action to increase the survival rate for a glioblastoma. At the Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics in New Jersey, patients are provided with thorough comprehensive and compassionate care. The CNSO elite neurosurgeon-led multi-specialty team has convenient offices across Bergen, Morris, Passaic, Hudson, and Essex counties. The CNSO neurosurgeons operate at the top hospitals in Bergen and Morris County that are recognized as the best neuroscience centers for brain tumors.

A glioblastoma is a serious diagnosis that must not have any treatment delay. Proper care requires knowledge of the latest oncologic evidenced-based medical studies, surgical advances and expertise. CNSO neurosurgeons work diligently with the radiation oncologists and the CNSO team of rehabilitation physicians and physical therapists to ensure the highest quality care and rapid recovery every step of the way.

What is a Glioblastoma?

A glioblastoma may occur at any age, but it is the most common type of adult primary brain tumor.

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Glioblastomas are a stage 4 brain cancer that originates from brain cells called glia cells. It affects the central nervous system which includes both the brain and spinal cord. Up to 45.2 percent of all tumors diagnosed in any part of the central nervous system are a glioblastoma. The patients symptoms of this brain tumor may appear over the course of weeks to days ranging from minor movement disturbances to intense headaches, seizures, nausea, vomiting, and other neurological difficulties. It may also present as an incidental finding.

Diagnosis & Treatment

If the patient or their loved one notices concerning symptoms, they hopefully will schedule an appointment with the patients primary doctor, neurologist, or neurosurgeon. The diagnostic process begins with a neurological evaluation starting with understanding all the changes and symptoms the patient or their family has notices. Vision, hearing, coordination, balance, strength, and reflexes will be tested though a physical examination. The most comprehensive neurological examination is performed by either a neurologist or a neurosurgeon. If the treating physician detects a neurological disturbance, an MRI of the brain or spine will be ordered. A Cat Scan may also be necessary. PET scans are ordered if more than one location in the central nervous system or anywhere else in the body is of concern.

If imaging studies reveal a brain tumor, a biopsy may be needed to determine the type of tumor. Because of its rapid growth rate, a glioblastoma must be removed as soon as possible. Due to its nature of growth, a glioblastoma may be intertwined with areas of the brain that are too life threatening to remove it completely. If it is not possible to remove the glioblastoma in its entirety without compromising surrounding brain areas, the goal will be to shrink the glioblastoma via radiotherapy using technology such as the Gamma Knife, CyberKnife, or TrueBeam ideally removing the remaining parts of the tumor. Other treatments, such as chemotherapy, tumor treating fields (TTF) therapy, and targeted drug therapy may also be used to slow the tumor’s progression.

Glioblastoma Survival Rates

There are ongoing studies to identify prognostic factors and to improve the survival rates of glioblastoma through surgical methods, oncological radiation, and chemotherapy. The older the age of diagnosis, the larger size of tumor, the larger the tumor resection size, and the later the age of treatment contribute to a less fortunate long term survival rate. The American Cancer Society has recognized that individuals between the ages of 20 to 44 years of age have the highest five-year survival rates for glioblastoma yet the median age of diagnosis for glioblastoma is 64 years old. Based on the most recent ACS statistics, the relative 5-year survival rate for patients based on age is as follows:

  • 20 to 44 years old: 22%
  • 45 to 54 years old: 9%
  • 55+ years: 6%

Other contributing factors to longer survival are the location of the tumor, whether it can be completely removed, and whether certain genes, such as P53, are expressed, within the tumor cell can all influence the grade and prognosis. Sadly, the average survival rate for glioblastoma patients in the United States is often 12 to 18 months. The remaining time is precious and many patients of the CNSO neurosurgeons have lived 15 more high quality years. The most important aspect for the patient is hope.

Glioblastoma Treatment at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics

The diagnosis of a brain tumor is seldom but when it occurs, patients need to know on whom they can depend. The most advanced technology and latest treatment is regularly by performed by the compassionate neurosurgeons at CNSO. The select team of board-certified professionals will assuredly provide the best outcome and increase the chances of a higher quality of life. Contact Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics today for more information.

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