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About Glioblastoma


The exact cause of glioblastoma is not known. Some risk factors may make someone more likely to develop high-grade gliomas like glioblastoma, but the majority of patients have no family history or identifiable risk factors.

American Brain Tumor Association

Causes of glioblastoma

Previous exposure to radiation

Exposure to ionizing radiation as a result of radiation therapy for childhood brain tumors or leukemia is a risk factor for high-grade gliomas like glioblastoma.

Rare genetic conditions

Hereditary disorders linked to genetic mutations, such as:

  • Turcot syndrome
  • Neurofibromatosis type 1
  • Li-Fraumeni syndrome
  • Lynch syndrome
  • Constitutional mismatch repair deficiency syndrome

Exposure to chemicals and other cancer-causing agents may increase your risk for genetic mutations.

Age and gender

Glioblastomas can occur at any age but are more common in older patients between the ages of 65 and 74. The median age of a glioblastoma diagnosis is 65.

Glioblastomas are slightly more common in men than in women.

American Brain Tumor Association

What are the symptoms of glioblastoma?

Glioblastoma can result in personality changes, cognitive and behavioral changes, seizures, and more.

How is glioblastoma diagnosed?

Doctors diagnose glioblastoma through a neurological exam, imaging tests (often MRI), and other special tests.

How is Glioblastoma treated?

In some cases, surgery can remove the tumor. Some other treatments include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and more.

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