Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM):
One of the most agressive types of brain tumours, graded IV on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) scale. Median survival time is 17 months, historical 5-year survival is 14%. Despite its being the most prevalent form of primary brain tumor, GBM occurs in only 2 to 3 cases per 100,000 people in Europe and North America. Well, I’ve beaten those odds, so I can beat the survival rates too!
WHO scale for brain tumours:
The WHO uses four grades to classify brain tumours. The first two are so called “benign” tumours, whereas grades III and IV are called “malignant” The lower the grade, the better the chances for survival:
|Grade I||pilocytic astrocytoma|
|Grade III||anaplastic astrocytoma|
Tom’s scale for brain tumours:
After careful research I would like to offer an alternative classification, equally consisting of four grades:
|Grade I||you just might be f…d|
|Grade II||you will probably be f….ed|
|Grade III||you will surely be f…ed|
|Grade IV||you’re royally f…ed|
This, of course is not backed up by any scientific data, but only by the absurdity of my situation.
Palliative treatment usually is conducted to improve quality of life and to achieve a longer survival time for patients with a so-called “incurable” or terminal disease. It may, in the case of GBM, include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. It does, however, not attempt to cure the patient. It’s basically an admission that medicine can’t do anything to heal you, so at least they can make your days easier. New thinking, strongly advocated by Dr. Henry Friedman at Duke, fortunately challenges this belief.