May is National Brain Tumor Awareness Month. There are two types of tumors: primary (form and stay in the brain) and metastatic (spread to the brain from another tumor in the body). Primary brain tumors are common in both children and the elderly, while metastatic are rare in children but common in adults.
As the adult child of an aging parent, hearing your parent has a brain tumor is frightening. Not every tumor is cancerous, but there is one that the elderly can get that you should understand what it is and what happens if your parent is diagnosed as having a glioblastoma.
According to the American Brain Tumor Association, glioblastomas account for 14.9 percent of all primary brain tumor cases. It’s expected in 2017 that more than 12,300 people will be diagnosed as having a glioblastoma.
Basic Facts About a Glioblastoma
A glioblastoma forms cancerous cells in the brain and are almost always malignant and grow very rapidly. In an aging adult, primary glioblastomas are more common, and they are very aggressive. There are also secondary glioblastomas, but they tend to be more common in adults under the age of 45. They’re more common in men.
Symptoms that may be present include headaches, nausea, sleepiness, and vomiting. The tumor may also affect speech, vision, and lead to weakness on one side of the body, so it can be difficult to tell if your parent is about to have a stroke. If you notice any of those symptoms, seek medical care as soon as possible.
Once a brain scan finds the tumor, surgery to remove the tumor may be necessary. As glioblastomas grow rapidly, it can be hard for a surgeon to take out all of the tumor. Following a surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are often necessary to help slow the growth of the cancerous cells that remain.
What You Need to Plan For
Once your parent is back home, elder care services can help you with the appointments your parent will have and the care he or she needs. Hiring an elder care specialist allows you to keep up with your own personal and work responsibilities while also having a caregiver on hand to help your parent with cooking, cleaning, and transportation. With the support of a caregiver, you and your parent will be able to focus on spending time together and getting back to normal routines.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING IN-HOME ELDER CARE IN SUMMERLIN, NV, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE. CALL TODAY 702-800-4616.