The Wanted Singer Tom Parker Dies of Brain Tumour: What Is Glioblastoma?

Parker suffered from an untreatable brain tumour caused by Glioblastoma.

2 min read
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Tom Parker, the 33-year-old singer for The Wanted, died of complications from a brain tumour on 31 March 2022.

Parker had been battling terminal brain cancer AKA glioblastoma, and had even performed at Royal Hall in 2021 for a cancer fundraiser.

Parker had revealed that he had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain in October 2020.

The singer is survived by his wife, Kelsey Hardwick and two children - Aurelia Rose and Bodhi.


What is Glioblastoma?

Glioblastoma (GBM) is an aggressive brain tumour that grows and spreads very quickly. It spreads from one part of the brain to other very quickly but usually does not spread to other organs.

Glioblastoma patients have a very low survival rate, with only 40 percent surviving a year after diagnosis and less than 17 percent living for two years.

In many cases, the brain tumour can lead to death within six months if left untreated.

The exact causes of glioblastoma are unknown, but some risk factors include prior exposure to radiation (therapeutic or otherwise), lower susceptibility to allergies, and impaired immune response.

Glioblastomas are the most common in adults between 45 and 65. However, a brain tumour, especially a glioblastoma, can occur at any time.


What Are The Symptoms of Glioblastoma?

Glioblastoma symptoms can be easy to overlook or ignore as symptoms of other common conditions like migraines, stress, exhaustion or food posioning. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Continuous and persistent headaches

  • Blurred or double vision

  • Nausea and/or vomiting

  • Loss of appetite

  • Mood swings or changes in personality

  • Changes in learning and comprehension ability

  • Seizures which didn't exist earlier

  • Speech difficulties which may begin gradually


Treatment For Glioblastoma

Glioblastoma has no cure, but it does have treatment options. Glioblastoma treatment starts with a craniotomy, i.e., brain surgery.

Doctors open the patient's brain, and remove as much of the tumour tissue as they possibly can without damaging the surrounding cells and tissue needed for the brain to function.

However, Glioblastoma can cause the tumour cells to spread and invade other parts of the brain and nearby tissue. Damaging this tissue during surgery can cause serious problems and even lead to death.

The brain's inability to repair itself effectively also plays a role in Glioblastoma treatment. Since tissue can't be removed without consequence, the craniotomy aims to remove as much of the tumour as possible.

Once the patient has healed, they undergo radiation therapy to kill off any remaining tumour cells.

An alternative is radiosurgery, which uses surgery to focus radiation on the tumour cells alone. This is usually recommended in more advanced cases or the later stages of the glioblastoma, and not as the initial treatment.

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Topics:  Cancer   Brain Tumour 

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