Glioblastoma Awareness Day Date in the current year: July 17, 2024

Glioblastoma Awareness Day Glioblastoma Awareness Day is observed annually on the third Wednesday of July. It was created to raise awareness of the most aggressive and the most common type of brain cancer that has a very poor survival prognosis.

Glioblastoma, also known as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), is an aggressive cancerous brain tumor. It is the most common type of brain cancer that can affect anyone at any age, although glioblastoma is more common in males than females, and its incidence increases with age, the average age at diagnosis being 64. The causes of glioblastoma are unknown, and there is no way to prevent this type of cancer.

One of the worst things about glioblastoma is that its initial signs and symptoms are nonspecific. They may include headaches, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, weakness and fatigue, seizures, issues with memory and concentration, mood swings, personality and behavior changes, trouble walking/loss of balance, speech problems, and vision changes. Due to this, and the fact that the tumor grows very rapidly, glioblastoma is often diagnosed when it reaches an enormous size.

Glioblastoma is very hard to treat for a number of reasons. The current treatment options are surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, but these conventional therapies can damage the brain, which has a limited capacity to repair itself, plus the tumor is resistant to many of them. In addition, many drugs cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, which limits the choice of drugs for chemotherapy (as of 2024, only four drugs were approved by FDA for glioblastoma treatment). Finally, the tumor almost always recurs despite maximum treatment.

Due to its aggressiveness and resistance to conventional treatments, glioblastoma has a very poor survival prognosis. The typical duration of survival following diagnosis is three months without treatment and between a year and year and a half with treatment; a five-year survival rate is about 5–7%. The current available treatment and care can prolong a patient’s life by a few months, but their quality of life will inevitably suffer.

The third Wednesday of July was designated as Glioblastoma Awareness Day in 2019 by the United States Senate under a resolution introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham. It was Graham’s way to honor the memory of his close friend, the late Senator John McCain, who died of gioblastoma the previous year, as well as to raise awareness and leverage support for the research and treatment of glioblastoma.

Since its inception, Glioblastoma Awareness Day has become an international observance supported and promoted by brain cancer awareness and research organizations around the globe. You can get involved with the awareness campaign by learning more about glioblastoma and sharing the facts you’ve learned with others, donating to an organization that supports glioblastoma patients and their families or funds brain cancer research, volunteering at a cancer ward or hospice for cancer patients, wearing a gray awareness ribbon to start conversations, and spreading the word on social media with the hashtags #GlioblastomaAwarenessDay and #GBMAwarenessDay.

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Glioblastoma Awareness Day, international observances, awareness days, cancer awareness days, brain cancer