Last Stages of Glioblastoma

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Brain scan showing presence of cancer
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Glioblastoma multiforme is a type of brain cancer that involves the glial cells. This is one of the most aggressive and deadly form of brain cancers. According to the International Radiosurgery Association, glioblastomas make up 23 percent of the brain tumors in the United States. It is usually seen in people between the ages of 45 and 74. Glioblastomas are considered type IV tumors, the most difficult to treat. Though your doctor may try to operate, death is a likely outcome for people with this type of cancer.

Doctor giving bad news to a patient
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The final stage of any cancer is called Stage IV. For people with glioblastomas, Stage IV is defined when the cancer spreads beyond the tumor and into other nearby brain tissue. In this stage, the tumor will then begin to grow at an accelerated rate because the blood vessels in the new tissue will be supplying it with more blood. With this new supply of oxygen, the tumor can now grow bigger and bigger. In the center of the tumor, all of the normal cells will be dead, while the malignant cells continue to grow on the peripheries.

Doctor and nurse reviewing brain scans
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By the time this cancer has reached Stage IV, the patient will not be lucid. It is likely they will not be coherent, and pain will be extreme. In order to treat this intense pain, the doctor may keep the patient under sedation or even induce a coma in severe situations. The patient's memory will probably no longer exist, making recognizing close family members impossible. This will be a distressing time for the patient and his family members. As the tumor grows bigger, the symptoms will worsen, and the patient will eventually die.

Unconscious patient
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