Glioblastoma Awareness Day
Glioblastoma Awareness Day is an annual observance held on July 19th to raise awareness about glioblastoma, a type of aggressive brain cancer. Glioblastoma is the most common and life-threatening form of brain cancer affecting both adults and children.
During Glioblastoma Awareness Day, Uhapo educates the public about glioblastoma symptoms, treatment options, and its impact on patients and their families. We also organize events such as fundraising activities, educational seminars, public lectures, social media campaigns, and community outreach programs to raise awareness of these life-threatening cancer.
What is our goal on Glioblastoma Awareness Day?
Our aim on Glioblastoma Awareness Day is to improve understanding and knowledge about glioblastoma, promote early detection, support patients and their families, advocate for research funding, and ultimately find more effective treatments and a cure for this devastating disease.
Glioblastoma Awareness Day plays a vital role in bringing attention to the challenges faced by patients, caregivers, and the medical community regarding this rare disease. It also serves as a platform to honor people affected by glioblastoma by highlighting the need for ongoing research and providing support for finding better treatment options to improve better patient outcomes.
Caring for a Person with a Brain Tumor
If you or your loved one has a brain tumor, then gain as much knowledge as you can to support and help them during these difficult times. Many cancer patients find it hard to ask for help. So it’s necessary you let them know you are always available by checking with them often. You can offer them help in various tasks whether it is on a social, emotional, or mental level such as –
- Communication and Emotional Support – Keep the lines of communication open with the person you are caring for. Offer a listening ear and emotional support. Brain tumor diagnoses can be overwhelming, and your presence and empathy can be comforting.
- Educate Yourself – Learn about the specific type of brain tumor your loved one has, its prognosis, and potential treatment options. Knowledge will empower you to make informed decisions and provide better support.
- Seek medical advice – Ensure the person with a brain tumor is receiving appropriate medical care from a team of specialists, including neurologists, neurosurgeons, oncologists, and palliative care experts. Regular consultations and check-ups are crucial to monitor the tumor’s progress and adjust treatment plans accordingly.
- Assist with Treatment Management – Help the individual manage their treatment plan, including medication schedules, doctor appointments, and therapy sessions. Consider using tools like pill organizers and medication trackers to ensure they are taking their medications correctly.
- Safety Measures – Be mindful of safety around the house for them. If the person experiences balance or coordination issues, consider installing handrails or other safety equipment to prevent falls.
- Joining support groups – Consider joining a support group for caregivers of individuals with brain tumors. Sharing experiences with others who understand the challenges can provide valuable information on coping strategies.
- Celebrate Milestones – Acknowledge and celebrate important milestones and achievements, regardless of how small they may seem. Celebrating these moments can bring joy and positivity to the caregiving journey.
Caring for someone with a brain tumor is a journey that requires flexibility, patience, and understanding. Ask and reach out for support from friends, family, and healthcare professionals to ensure the best possible care for your loved one and yourself in these hard times.
Guide to Glioblastoma
Glioblastoma, also known as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), is a highly aggressive and malignant brain tumor that originates in the glial cells, which are supportive cells in the brain. Here is a guide to help you understand glioblastoma, its types, causes, symptoms, treatment, and prognosis –
Types of Glioblastoma
There are two types of glioblastoma – primary and secondary.
- Primary (de nova) – It occurs in 90% of cases of glioblastoma. It tends to grow fast and is the most aggressive form of cancer. This type of cancer usually affects older people and results in shorter life expectancy.
- Secondary – It is less common and occurs mostly in younger populations, usually in the frontal lobe of the brain. It affects 10% of people with glioblastoma cancer. The survival rate for this type of cancer is significantly better compared to primary glioblastoma.
Causes and Risk Factors
The exact cause of glioblastoma is not fully understood. It is believed to result from a combination of genetic mutations and environmental factors. There are no specific known risk factors for glioblastoma, and it can occur in both young and older adults.
The symptoms of brain cancer depend on the location and size of the tumor in the brain. Glioblastoma grows rapidly damaging the surrounding brain tissues. Due to this, the first symptoms of Glioblastoma start occurring rapidly that include –
- Blurred vision or double vision
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Difficult swallowing
- Changes in the ability to hear, smell, or taste
- Trouble speaking or thinking
- Uncontrollable movements
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Difficulty walking
- Muscle weakness in the face, arm, or legs
- Numbness or tingling on one side of the body
- Loss of balance or coordination
- Eye problems such as drooping eyelids or unequal pupils
The treatment of glioblastoma typically involves a combination of different approaches, including surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Here is an overview of the main treatment options for glioblastoma –
- Surgery – Surgical removal of the tumor is often the initial step in treatment, aiming to remove as much of the tumor as possible without causing significant damage to critical brain functions. However, due to the infiltrative nature of glioblastoma, complete removal is often challenging.
- Radiation therapy – Following surgery, radiation therapy is commonly used to target any remaining tumor cells and reduce the risk of recurrence. External beam radiation therapy delivers high-energy beams to the tumor site, focusing on the area where the tumor was located. It is typically administered daily over several weeks.
- Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is often used in combination with radiation therapy. The most commonly used chemotherapy drug for glioblastoma is temozolomide, which is an oral medication. It works by damaging the DNA of rapidly dividing cancer cells.
- Targeted therapies – While there are currently no targeted therapies approved specifically for glioblastoma, ongoing research is focused on identifying specific molecular targets that could be exploited for treatment. Clinical trials are investigating targeted therapies that aim to inhibit specific pathways or mutations present in glioblastoma cells.
- Immunotherapy – Immunotherapy is an area of active investigation for glioblastoma treatment. Various immunotherapeutic approaches, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors and personalized cancer vaccines, are being studied in clinical trials. These treatments aim to harness the immune system’s ability to recognize and destroy cancer cells.
- Tumor-treating fields (TTFields) – TTFields therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses low-intensity electric fields to disrupt the division of cancer cells. It involves wearing an adhesive patch-like device on the scalp that delivers the electric fields to the tumor site.
Clinical Trials and Research
There are several clinical trials conducted to identify the appropriate diagnosis and treatments. The new treatment approaches are researched to diagnose glioblastoma and its recurrence in some patients. Immunotherapy is providing promising results by reprogramming the immune system to attack cancer cells with therapeutic strategies that successfully target brain tumors at the molecular level. Participation in clinical trials is extremely beneficial to cancer patients as it provides access to new treatments with additional care.