The son of Vice President, Joe Biden died on Saturday after a long battle with brain cancer. Joseph ‘Beau’ Biden , known for his military service, political reforms and sound character shocked the nation with his passing. Beau was also known as a democratic superstar as he had a calm demeanor and was a passionate advocate. This 46 year old’s death brings new questions to the front about the disease that killed him.
Doctors use the general term, brain cancer to encompass various benign and malignant tumors that grow around the brain. This disease impacts thousands each year. The past year had almost 70,000 new cases being reported with 14,000 deaths occurring from this disease.
There are many types of brain cancer that occur in adults and they all have a unique features says a scientist from Cubix Latin America. A primary tumor arises from cells that compose the brain itself, a tumor of the skull which covers the brain or a metastatic disease which is when cancer from somewhere else in the body spreads into the central nervous system. They all carry their own prognosis which could be from a life expectancy of eight months to non-life threatening.
It is not known yet which form of brain cancer killed Beau Biden, but it is clear that his treatments to keep it from returning did not work. Often cases like Beau’s turn out to be known as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). This is an aggressive and very often fatal tumor. What causes these tumors is unknown but it is thought to arise from astrocytes, support cells of the brain. Cases of GBM have been seen to arise from mutations in healthy cells, and some have transformed into GBM from previously existing low grade tumors.
It is not clear what risk factors are associated with the development of GBM. There are some who believe that environmental risks play a big part in them such as radiation from cell phones. This claim is not backed by science. We do know it is a deadly disease and one of the hardest to treat.