Friday, May 21, 2010

More About Brain Tumors

Since May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month, I wanted to offer some more details about the specific type of tumor that one of the characters suffers with in A Soul Less Broken:

Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) - Grade IV
  • Pronounced GLEE-OH-Blast-oma
  • GBM tumors arise from astrocytes - star-shaped cells which form the supportive, glue-like substance of the brain.
  • These tumors represent 20% of all primary brain tumors.
  • When a tumor diagnosis is given, the tumor is graded from I to IV. The grade is based on how normal or abnormal the cancer cell appear under a microscope. Grade IV tumors appear very abnormal and are always classified as "high grade" tumors for that reason.
  • GBMs are generally found in the cerebral hemispheres, but technically can be found anywhere in the brain or spinal cord.
  • GBMs are capable of very rapid growth.
  • The first symptoms are usually due to increased pressure in the brain and usually present as headaches, seizures, memory loss, and changes in behavior.
  • GBMs commonly contain a mix of cell types, and while one cell type may be responsive to treatment, other types may be resistant.
  • Every year, approximately 5 out of every 100,000 Americans are diagnosed with GBMs.
For 37 years, the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) has provided critical funding to researchers working toward breakthroughs in brain tumor diagnosis, treatment and care, with the ultimate goal of finding a cure. The ABTA is also the recognized resource for comprehensive, up-to-date information and compassionate support for the brain tumor patients, families and caregivers who are living with this disease.

To donate or make your voice heard on important brain tumor initiatives click here.

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