A Brief Background on Brain Tumors and Hemorrhage
Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) and Primary Brain Cancers
Description: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and deadliest of malignant primary brain tumors in adults. GBM is usually highly malignant with a median survival rate of 15 months. Classified as a Grade IV (most serious) astrocytoma, GBM develops from the lineage of star-shaped glial cells, called astrocytes, which support nerve cells. Estimates suggest an incidence rate of 60,000 GBM’s annually in the U.S. Traditional Surgical
Treatment: Standard treatment is surgical resection, followed by radiation therapy or combined radiation therapy and chemotherapy. If considered inoperable, then radiation or radiation/chemotherapy can be administered solely. GBM’s capacity to sporadically invade and infiltrate normal surrounding brain tissue makes complete resection difficult with traditional surgical options.
Intracerebral Hemorrhage (ICH) and
Description: Intracerebral hemorrhage occurs when a blood vessel within the brain bursts, allowing blood to leak inside the brain. It is the second most common form of stroke (15-30 percent) and is the most life-threatening with no effective surgical option. There are several causes of brain hemorrhages, such as high blood pressure, head trauma, and cerebral aneurysm, to name a few. Estimates suggest an incidence rate of more than 100,000 ICH’s annually in the U.S. Traditional
Treatment: Treatment of ICH involves a variety of medical and surgical techniques, depending on the exact cause and size of the bleeding. Often, a patient is monitored under a “wait and see” approach to allow the patient’s condition to stabilize. In many cases, a surgical procedure is only pursued when the patient's condition has deteriorated to the point that requires surgical intervention to prevent further bleeding, reduce the pressure inside the skull, and limit the damage to brain cells.
Metastatic Brain Tumor
Description: A metastatic, or secondary, brain tumor is one that begins as cancer in another part of the body. Some of the cancer cells may be carried to the brain by the blood or lymphatic fluid, or may spread from adjacent tissue. The site where the cancerous cells originated is referred to as the primary cancer. They are the most common intracranial tumors (tumors inside the skull) and their incidence may be rising. Estimates suggest an incidence rate of 227,000 brain metastasis annually in the U.S.
Traditional Treatment: Used alone or in combination, surgical resection, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are the standard treatments if lesions are limited in number and accessible. Treatment varies with the size and type of the tumor, primary site of the tumor, and the general health of the person. The goal of treatment(s) is symptom relief, improved functioning, and/or comfort.
Additional Resources for Information
American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA)
National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS)
Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF)
American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Patient Information. Available at: http://www.aans.org/en/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments.aspx. Accessibility verified March 26, 2013.
American Brain Tumor Association. Available at http://www.abta.org/. Accessibility verified March 26, 2013.
American Cancer Society. Available at http://www.cancer.org/. Accessibility verified March 26, 2013.
National Brain Tumor Society. Tumor Types. Available at: http://www.braintumor.org/patients-family-friends/about-brain-tumors/tumor-types/. Accessibility verified March 26, 2013. National Stroke Association. What Is Stroke? Available at: http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=stroke. Accessibility verified March 26, 2013. Available at: http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/About-Stroke_UCM_308529_SubHomePage.jsp. Accessibility verified March 26, 2013.