What Are the Stages of Glioblastoma?

Glioblastoma, which is a type of cancerous brain tumor, is actually stage IV astrocytoma, according to the National Brain Tumor Society. Stage IV is the most severe form of this brain cancer type that develops from glial cells of the brain called astrocytes. This cancer type tends to occur most commonly in the cerebrum, but it can also develop in the spine or other parts of the brain.

Astrocytoma is categorized into four stages, which are pilocytic astrocytoma, low-grade astrocytoma, anaplastic astrocytoma, and glioblastoma. Although glioblastoma is the last stage of this very deadly cancer, there are two types of glioblastoma: primary and secondary, states the American Brain Tumor Association. Primary glioblastoma grows very quickly and is the most common form that affects people. People under the age of 45 are most affected by this glioblastoma type. Secondary glioblastoma is a tumor that grows gradually and nearly 10 percent of glioblastoma cases are of this type.

These tumors can also spread quickly to other parts, notes WebMD. Some symptoms of glioblastoma are headaches, vision problems, speech issues and possible seizures. Treating glioblastoma is difficult, but doctors can recommend surgery for tumor removal. If the entire tumor is not easily accessible, then a partial tumor removal is possible. The other treatment options for these tumors are radiation and chemotherapy.