Senator John McCain passed away on August 25, 2018 after being diagnosed with a glioblastoma in 2017, leading to a surge in internet searches on this topic. Glioblastomas are an infiltrating, aggressive type of brain tumor that affect more than 12,000 individuals each year in the United States, making it the most common type of primary malignant brain tumor. Patients are typically diagnosed in their 60s-70s. There are no known risk factors and no known genetic predisposing factors. There are no known methods of prevention. Typical presenting manifestations include headache, focal neurological deficits, and/or seizures. Imaging findings on CT and MRI are notable ring-enhancing lesions with areas of central necrosis surrounded by edema. Treatment includes surgical resection when possible, followed by radiation and chemotherapy. The overall prognosis is poor, and the disease is universally fatal. The average survival is 14-18 months and the 5-year survival is about 10%. The overall prognosis decreases significantly with age at time of diagnosis.
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