What Are the Symptoms of Final Stage Glioblastoma?


Quick Answer

The symptoms of final stage glioblastoma include symptoms caused by increasing intracranial pressure, such as drowsiness and headache; other symptoms include neurological deficits, dysphagia, delirium, confusion and fatigue, according to Oxford Journals. The goals of end-of-life treatment are supportive and focus on pain control and patient comfort.

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Full Answer

Glioblastomas are a type of brain tumor that occurs in the brain's supportive tissues, generally in the brain's cerebral hemispheres, although they can occur in the spinal cord or anywhere in the brain. The tumors reproduce quickly and they have a large network of blood vessels to supply them, making them highly malignant, according to the American Brain Tumor Association.

Before they reach their final stage, glioblastomas produce symptoms of headache, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting. Other symptoms can develop, depending on where the glioblastoma is located. These symptoms can cause memory difficulties, visual changes, speech difficulties or weakness on one particular side of the body.

Glioblastomas make up around 17 percent of all primary brain tumors and as much of 75 percent of all astrocytomas, which are tumors made from star-shaped cells. More men are affected by this tumor type than women, while it rarely affects children; only 3 percent of brain tumors found in children are glioblastomas.

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