Glioblastoma (brain cancer): Compare Costs for a treatment abroad

Even though glioblastoma can be dangerous, first thing you need to know is that it can be cured. Just do everything you can to get timely diagnosis and treatment and then you will have high chances of survival. You should know, that glioblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor, making around 60% of all brain tumors. It means that this brain tumor is the most researched type of brain cancer.

Neoplastic cells usually develop inside the skull. Glioblastoma may arise at any age. Even children can have it, although most occurrences are common in people aged 50-60 years. Brain tumor of this kind can have a giant size and turn into multiple forms. If not treated, it can result in development of gliosarcoma. According to data obtained by National Cancer Institute there are 24000 people registered with brain cancer annually.

Content

  1. Types and stages
  2. Symptoms
  3. Causes
  4. Diagnosis
  5. Treatment
  6. Prevention

Types and stages

Glioblastoma usually develops either in brain stem or in its hemispheres. Glioblastoma in the stem of the brain can not be surgically removed, because brainstem regulates all vital mental and body functions. It also connects head and spinal cord. Basically, brainstem is responsible for respiratory and vasomotor centers, that`s why the initial symptoms of brain stem glioblastoma are heart and respiratory disorders. Disease may begin spreading from the stem and reach other parts of the brain in the changed form of metastasis. Glioblastoma usually develops very rapidly.

Glioblastoma of cerebral hemispheres affects brain hemispheres. This subtype of brain cancer is often diagnosed during cytological research. Tumor of cerebral hemispheres may have an oval or round form and have the size dimension of the beans. Very rarely shape is irregular. This type of glioblastoma can be surgically removed.

There are four stages of the brain tumor.

The first stage is primarily benign, when tumor just started developing and it can still be treated.

The second stage already has the brain cancer symptoms. Tumors of the second stage are growing slowly.

The third stage still has no subsequent necrotic processes. Tumors in this case grow more quickly.

The fourth stage is the most dangerous, as it can even result in necrosis, which is the early death of cells. Glioblastoma belongs to the stage number four, and there is no full cure for it. It is not possible to completely remove it, that's why there are frequent relapses of this disease.

The risk groups who can get brain tumor are:

  1. age of 50 to 60 years
  2. male
  3. exposure to ionizing radiation
  4. genetic disorders
  5. result of certain brain tumor diseases, such as neurofibromatosis
  6. Caucasians overall are more prone to have this disease
  7. sclerosis

There are primary and secondary glioblastomas, that`s why it`s so important to differentiate its type during the diagnosis. The primary glioblastoma has much worse prognosis and is more difficult to treat. Secondary glioblastoma appeared as a result of other diseases and it is more susceptible to chemotherapy and radioactive intervention. Moreover, primary and secondary glioblastomas require different types of surgery, as they can differ in location and can have slightly varying brain cancer symptoms, which may appear at different time.

Glioblastoma symptoms

  1. nausea
  2. headaches
  3. weakness
  4. disturbed gait
  5. dizziness
  6. speech disorders
  7. inability to conduct complex actions

Other brain cancer signs are hemorrhage and the hemorrhagic stroke, which may be a result of extensive bleeding in tumor tissue. Brain cancer signs rarely appear before tumor is progressed. The most painful glioblastoma symptom is headache.

Diagnosis of glioblastoma

For the diagnosis of brain cancer doctors usually use MRI and biopsy. Biopsy can show size of malformation. The most modern diagnostic method is stereotactic biopsy which uses three-dimensional computer technology to localize and determine malignant lesion. MRI is considered to be the most accurate diagnostic method, as it produces informative images of brain glioblastoma.

Doctors also use MRC scan of brain and magnetic resonance imaging, when the special marker is injected into the patient head. The marker is connected to the computer and shows the inner side of the brain. The marker helps to determine the location of the brain glioblastoma and create its three-dimensional reconstruction.

According to Science Daily, doctors can also use new type of a biomarker to estimate current progression of tumor and predict speed of its development in future. Such marker was invented and implemented in use by researchers from Southwestern Medical Center.  

Treatment of glioblastoma

Common treatment options include:

  1. chemotherapy
  2. surgical removal of tumor
  3. radiation

Modern medicine also offers such type of treatment as proton therapy.

Chemotherapy

When prescribing drugs for the glioblastoma, doctors determine stage, patient's age and his overall health condition. Chemotherapy drugs are aimed to destroy the neoplastic cells. Chemotherapy is usually carried out in conjunction with radiation therapy. Typically, patient needs to undergo 5-7 cycles of chemotherapy. They rarely last longer than 5 days. Unfortunately, the chemotherapy helps only in 25 cases out of 100. Chemotherapy is also prescribed for children, because radioactive therapy can not be used on their brain as it has too negative impact. In fact, radioactive treatment should be used only after careful weighing of pros and cons, taking into account the state of health of a person's age and malignancy of his tumor.

Surgical removal

Many doctors believe that glioblastoma is not amenable to surgery. But if its location is favorable, it can be removed by surgery. 4 hours before the operation, patient is given a special drug, which makes tumor cells accumulate protoporphyrin. This drug is used to make contours of glioblastoma more pronounced under special blue lighting. Such blue light makes the neoplastic cells glow, which gives the neurosurgeon an opportunity to operate.

Radiation therapy

Surgery not always gives 100% removal of the tumor, because cancer cells can continue to proliferate. In that case, they need to be destroyed by radioactive exposure. Radiation therapy can replace surgery if tumor is inoperable.

You must also know that radiation therapy has side effects, which include fatigue, nausea, hair loss and constant weakness. Brain tissue may swell after the radioactive intervention, which means that the headaches may become even more severe for a while. Nevertheless, 

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Booking Health offers the following options of treatment for this diagnosis.
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Conservative diagnostics | Diagnostic
Price from
2534.00
Surgical removal of the tumor
Price from
19175.00
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy
Price from
27425.00
Diagnosis and Stereotactic biopsy
Price from
11925.00
Proton Therapy
Price from
45201.00
Neurorehabilitation
Price from
838.00
Neurorehabilitation
Price from
535.00
Neurorehabilitation
Price from
375.00

Best hospitals for Glioblastoma (brain cancer) treatment

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location_onCountry: Germany
location_searchingCity: Bad Wildungen

Asklepios Stadtklinik Bad Wildungen


The Department of Neurosurgery offers conservative, minimally invasive, endoscopic and surgical treatments of back pain, radiating pain in loins and legs, pain and going degradation caused by wear, pain in neck, schoulder and arm and nerve compression syndromes.

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location_onCountry: Germany
location_searchingCity: Essen

Alfried Krupp Hospital in Essen-Ruettenscheid


The Department of Neurosurgery at the Alfried Krupp Hospital in Essen focuses on the following tasks and areas: microsurgery, vascular brain surgery, brain tumors, skull base surgery, spinal column surgery, traumatic brain injury, peripheral nerves, pain therapy, radiosurgery.

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