What is a glioblastoma? Brain cancer symptoms following The Wanted’s Tom Parker death

The Wanted’s Tom Parker has sadly died of brain cancer from glioblastoma, an aggressive type of the disease.

The 33-year-old told fans in October 2020 that he had an inoperable tumor.

The musician passed away on March 30 from a terminal brain cancer known as grade-four glioblastoma.

He announced in November 2021 that his tumor was stable. The singer was able to perform on some nights of the band’s reunion tour this month.

The Mirror reports that Parker’s condition quickly deteriorated.

His wife, Kelsey Hardwick, wrote on Instagram: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we confirm Tom passed away peacefully earlier today with all of his family by his side. Our hearts are broken, Tom was the center of our world and we can’t imagine life without his infectious smile and energetic presence.”

Tom Parker died aged 33 from terminal brain cancer

She continued: “We are truly thankful for the outpouring of love and support and ask that we all unite to ensure Tom’s light continues to shine for his beautiful children.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported in his care throughout, he fought until the very end. I’m forever proud of you.”

What is glioblastoma?

There are many types of brain tumors and glioblastoma, which occurs in the brain and spinal cord, is one of them.

They can develop at any age, but it tends to happen more often in older adults.

The cancer can be very difficult to treat and a cure is not often possible.

Tom Parker had what is called a grade four glioblastoma.

Brain cancers are graded on a scale of one to four, with higher numbers indicating a more serious illness.

According to the NHS, grade three and four brain tumors are cancerous (malignant) tumors that grow more quickly and are more difficult to treat.

Glioblastoma, also known as glioblastoma multiforme, GMB, GMB4 or a grade four astrocytoma, are a grade four brain tumor.

The Brain Tumor Charity says they are the most common high grade primary brain tumor in adults, explaining that glioblastoma are:

  • Fast growing
  • Diffuse into “threadlike tendrils that extend into other parts of the brain”
  • May spread within the brain
  • May come back, even if intensively treated

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Symptoms of glioblastoma

(FILE PHOTO) FILE - Tom Parker Of The Wanted Dies At 33. LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Tom Parker and Kelsey Hardwick attend The London Cabaret Club launch party at The Bloomsbury Ballroom on May 4, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett / Getty Images for The London Cabaret Club)
Tom Parker and his wife Kelsey Hardwick

Glioblastomas are a type of glioma – a brain tumor that grows from a glial cell – and symptoms depend on where they are located in the brain.

Tom Parker suffered a seizure that led to the discovery of his brain tumour.

According to the Mayo Clinic, common signs and symptoms of gliomas include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion or a decline in brain function
  • memory loss
  • Personality changes or irritability
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
  • Speech difficulties
  • Seizures, especially in someone without a history of seizures

In general, the NHS says common brain cancer symptoms are:

  • Headaches (often worse in the morning and when coughing or straining)
  • Fits (seizures)
  • Regularly feeling sick (vomiting)
  • Memory problems or changes in personality
  • Weakness, vision problems or speech problems that get worse

What causes glioblastoma?

The cause of these tumours, like most ones in the brain, is unknown.

Risk factors include age, radiation exposure and family history.

However, the Brain Tumor Charity stresses: “It’s important to know that there is nothing you could have done, or avoided doing, that would have caused you or somebody you know to develop a brain tumor.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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