Every year, about five million people die in the world, whose organs and systems were afflicted with malignant tumors. The diagnosis of blastoma (malignant tumor) sounds like a sentence too many. However, blastoma, depending on the location and type of tumor, with timely detection and treatment may well be amenable to elimination. The type of blastoma plays a key role in the prognosis for patient recovery.
What is blastoma?
Under the common name of blastoma in oncology, it is common to combine any neoplasms and tumors. Their occurrence is caused by abnormal proliferation of tissues, which consist of altered cells of the body, the functions, and form of which were changed under the influence of certain factors. Blastoma continues to grow even after the cessation of the influence of factors that provoked the start of their growth.
Blastoma is divided into two types:
- Benign tumors (their growth is slow, they do not grow into adjacent tissues, but only push them away or squeeze).
- Malignant tumors (their growth is invasive (infiltrative), that is, they germinate into the surrounding tissues, destroying them, damaging the vessels, which then spread the deadly cells throughout the body, thus causing the development of metastases).
If the nature of the detected tumor is benign, it is not considered an oncological disease (blastoma, the prognosis of which is the most favorable of all), however, unfortunately, benign forms occupy only one percent of the total number of neoplasms. In addition, even a benign tumor can be dangerous if it is located in a dangerous place where it can squeeze the organs that are responsible for performing the vital functions of the body. Another danger of benign formations is that they can, under certain circumstances, develop into malignant tumors.
Malignant tumors with metastases affect vital organs, lead to anemia, the intoxication of the body with decay products of regenerated tissues, metabolic disorders, disruption of the functions of the body’s regulatory systems and immunity. The inevitable consequence of all these processes is the complete depletion of the body, in which conservative treatment of the blastoma is no longer effective, and the prognosis is completely unfavorable.
Blastoma is divided into main types (depending on the affected organ):
- Glioblastoma (brain tumor)
- Medulloblastoma (cerebellar tumor)
- Neuroblastoma (a tumor that affects the nervous system)
- Retinoblastoma (eye swelling)
- Nephroblastoma (kidney tumor)
- Hepatoblastoma (liver tumor)
- Pleuropulmonary blastoma (lung tumor)
- Breast blastoma
- Uterus blastoma
- Stomach blastoma
Methods of treating a patient with a diagnosis of blastoma and prognosis depend on the type of tumor, the stage of its development and location.
The further the tumor develops, the more independent its growth becomes from the systems of regulation of the organism. In the absence of medical intervention, metastasis further follows, which significantly complicates (sometimes makes it impossible) the further treatment of the blastoma, the prognosis for recovery is minimized.
Causes of Blastoma
The main reason is genetic mutations that can be made even before the birth of a person (a genetic predisposition to cancer is known). Genetic changes (i.e. mutations) are provoked by carcinogens acting on the DNA molecule in the cell gene. Under normal conditions, anti-oncogenes protect against cancer in the body, but under mutation conditions, the level of protection drops to a critical point.
Oncogenic viruses that pose a great risk to the human body for the development of malignant tumors include:
- hepatitis types B, C (provokes the development of hepatoblastoma – liver cancer);
- Certain types of human papillomavirus (increases the risk for women to develop cervical and genital cancers – the latter is also relevant for men);
- herpes simplex virus type 8 and Epstein-Barr virus (provoke the occurrence of sarcoma and lymphoma);
- HIV status (not directly related to the transformation of cells, but creates immunodeficiency in the body, under which it is easier for blastomas of any type to develop).
Proven genetic predisposition to cancer. Therefore, people whose close relatives are familiar with the terrible medical phrase blastoma prognosis, are recommended to regularly (once every six months or a year) undergo preventive medical examinations and examinations.
When it comes to female forms of cancer (for example, breast blastoma), serious problems with the hormonal background in the body can act as possible causes of the growth of malignant cells.
Among other reasons that indirectly affect the development of malignant tumors in the body, scientists call bad habits (smoking, alcohol abuse), poor nutrition (excessive calorie, an abundance of animal fats, nitrates, preservatives, vitamin deficiency) and poor work of immunity, oppressed uncontrolled admission relevant drugs.
A healthy lifestyle is an excellent prevention for anyone who does not want to ever drive a “blastoma prognosis” request into the Internet search engine.
Symptoms of blastoma
In the initial stages of oncological diseases, there are no pains, fever, and other symptoms that cause a person to immediately seek medical help. Therefore, many patients who neglect routine check-ups with doctors are forced to subsequently carry out treatment at the last stages of the development of the blastoma, when the medical forecasts are no longer accurate.
However, in oncology, a number of so-called small signs are known, which in combination should make a person alert and turn to doctors for testing and undergoing a comprehensive examination. These include decreased working ability, fatigue, general weakness, loss of appetite, food rejection (up to nausea and vomiting), a sharp significant loss of body weight, unnatural discharge (mucus or blood).
You should also focus on the syndrome of unsuccessful treatment. It is characterized by a persistent disruption in the work of any organ or system of the body — in this case, the detected disease cannot be cured by classical methods.
There is a possibility of increasing the volume of education, which can be identified by palpation of the sore spot. Particular attention should be paid to the lymph nodes. Affected nodes when probing may be enlarged, bumpy, dense.
All the above signs serve as a signal for immediate access to a doctor if a person does not want to risk in the future to become familiar with the blastoma and its prognosis.
Diagnosis of blastoma
Detection of tumors in modern medicine is carried out with the help of X-ray examinations and morphological studies:
- Traditional x-ray
- CT scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Laboratory analysis for cancer markers
- Biopsy of affected tissue
The more complete the diagnosis will be, the more accurate the diagnosis will be able to establish an oncologist, significantly increasing the prognosis of treatment of the blastoma.
Treatment of blastoma
Treatment methods depend on the type of tumor, its location, the stage of development of the disease, the physical condition, and age of the patient, etc.
The further prognosis depends on the correctly chosen and successfully applied method of treatment for a particular type of blastoma.
- Surgical intervention
- Radiation therapy
- Palliative therapy
Most often, oncologists recommend surgery to remove a tumor in order to prevent subsequent metastasis. However, this type of radical treatment is ineffective in the case of metastasis. Also, surgery is not always possible due to the dangerous location of the tumor (if there is a risk of damage to the nearby vital organs). Otherwise, radical surgical excision today has the highest chances to give a patient a diagnosis of blastoma a prognosis for a further full and healthy life.
The remaining methods of treatment of malignant neoplasms are used both separately and in combined treatment.
Unfortunately, modern medicine can only offer palliative treatment to patients at the last, fourth stage of cancer (short-lived life extension and improvement of its quality).
Therefore, the best treatment is prevention in the form of regular medical examinations and traditional examinations, which significantly improve the prognosis for preventing the development of a blastoma in the body.
The prognosis for recovery as well as patient survival mainly depends on the type of blastoma.
Different types of blastomas have different predictions:
- Lung blastoma has a very poor prognosis due to an aggressive type of tumor. With timely treatment, the five-year survival rate of patients is about 15-30% (depending on the stage at which treatment began to be applied, and the type of tumor). With early detection and surgical removal, the chances of a cure are 80%. However, the prevalence rate for recurrences of biphasic lung blastoma and metastasis is 30–40%, which significantly worsens forecasts.
- Uterus blastoma in women has a more favorable prognosis. A favorable prognosis depends on the stage at which the treatment of the disease began. In the CIS countries, the five-year survival rate is about 90%, provided that uterine cancer was detected at an early stage. According to others, this figure is about 80%, which is still a favorable forecast. In the second stage of the disease, the survival rate is 50-60%, in the third – about 30%, and the fourth stage is characterized by low survival – 7-9% of patients.
- Prostate neoplasms in men also have fairly high predictions of healing – in the case of a radical prostatectomy operation in the early stages, the five-year survival rate is 80-90%. And even at the 3rd stage, when the tumor has spread beyond the prostate but has not had time to give metastases, doctors manage to remove the source of malignant cells in 50% of cases.
- Nephroblastoma (Wilms’ tumor – kidney damage) with high-precision diagnosis and the use of combination therapy in the early stages gives very high chances of recovery – about 80-90% of patients return to normal life.
- The prognosis for blastoma of the brain may vary depending on the stage of development of the disease, the type of tumor and its localization. However, it is not so high due to the danger of defeating the most important organ controlling the entire human body. Thus, glioblastoma is considered the most malignant – an inoperable tumor, which leaves the patient only 1-1.5 years of life if left untreated and a little more if palliative therapy is used.
The prognosis of survival in cancer is affected by several factors:
- Stage of development of the primary tumor
- The degree of malignancy of the tumor
- Presence of concomitant cancer
The most effective treatment that gives the best predictions of survival is surgery.
With the diagnosis of the last stages of invasive and metastatic blastoma, the prognosis, alas, is unfavorable.
The mandatory condition for a positive outcome of the disease – dispensary observation and prevention.