What is glioblastoma?

WSB’s Jovita Moore has been diagnosed with this aggressive form of brain cancer

Credit: WSBTV Videos

Channel 2′s Jovita Moore reveals brain cancer diagnosis

Channel 2 Action News anchor Jovita Moore has an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma, WSB-TV reported Thursday.

Moore had brain surgery April 16 to remove two small cancer masses, and was expected to return to the news desk about 10 weeks later. She now undergoing chemotherapy and radiation in an effort to slow the cancer’s progression.

If glioblastoma sounds familiar, it is the same cancer Sen. John McCain had. Here’s a look at glioblastoma.

What type of cancer is it?

Moore was diagnosed with primary glioblastoma, a type of brain tumor. Primary glioblastoma means the cancer started in the brain.

What is glioblastoma?

Glioblastoma forms in the tissue of the brain and the spinal cord. It is a very aggressive form of cancer.

What are the symptoms?

According to the Mayo Clinic, these are the symptoms of glioblastoma:

  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion or a decline in brain function
  • Memory loss
  • Personality changes or irritability
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
  • Speech difficulties
  • Seizures, especially in someone without a history of seizures

“I was really concerned about why all of a sudden I was forgetful, disoriented and just not feeling myself. Feeling like I was in a fog and really wanting to get out of that fog,” Moore said on air in April.

Are there risk factors?

The Mayo Clinic lists these factors.

Age: Gliomas are generally diagnosed in people between the ages of 60 and 80, though it can occur at any age. Moore is 53.

Radiation exposure: Those who have been exposed to ionizing radiation have an increased risk of brain cancer. Ionizing radiation is the type of radiation used to treat cancer. It is also the type of radiation that is caused by the explosion of an atomic bomb.

Family history: Family history of brain cancer can increase the chances of contracting the disease.

How bad is the cancer? What is the prognosis?

Glioblastoma is a particularly aggressive form of cancer, according to the American Brain Tumor Association. The prognosis is often poor. The average survival rate for patients with malignant glioblastoma tends to be around 14 months with treatment. Around 10% of patients with the disease live five years or longer.

Emory University School of Medicine associate professor and neurosurgeon Dr. Edjah Nduom said Moore’s healthy lifestyle and support system is helping her through this ordeal.

Nduom said glioblastoma is not hereditary and has nothing to do with a patient’s diet or lifestyle.