The prognosis for patients with a high-grade glioma tumor is poor in 2015, especially for older patients, according to WebMD. The average life expectancy for a high-grade tumor is a year, with few patients surviving more than three years after receiving conventional treatment.
This type of brain tumors is graded in terms of severity, WebMD reports. Grade 1 tumors, called pilocytic astrocytomas, are primarily seen in children. These tumors grow slowly and can often be removed with surgery. Both Grade I and II tumors can grow into high-grade tumors over time. Grade II tumors, also low-grade, are called diffuse astrocytomas. Grade III and IV tumors are high-grade. These gliomas are fast-growing and often difficult to treat.
Treatment of gliomas often includes surgery, WebMD notes. High-grade gliomas often penetrate deeply into the brain and grow into the tissue, making surgery difficult. However, removing as much of the tumor as possible allows patients to have a better quality of life. Recurrence of the tumor is common after surgery. Chemotherapy and radiation are sometimes used to slow the tumor's growth. Medications to keep the brain from swelling and prevent seizures are often prescribed.
Radiation exposure is a risk factor for gliomas, and so is a family history, as WebMD explains. Lifestyle choices, including smoking, drinking and frequent cell phone use are not linked to gliomas.