Cause for Hope
- In an Instagram post, singer Tom Parker shared an update on his battle with brain cancer–his tumor is “under control.” Parker wrote that the tumor is stable, and he thanked his fans for being there for him over the past twelve months.
- Parker’s doctors determined that his tumor was inoperable, and he went public with his alarming health situation in October 2020.
- Parker has undergone chemotherapy and radiation treatment in an attempt to shrink his tumor. By January, he reported a “significant reduction” in its size.
“Such a mix of emotions,” he continued. “We couldn’t ask for any more really at this point; a year or so in to this journey.” Parker has been through hell and back since he was initially diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma in October 2020. When he was diagnosed, his disease was deemed terminal. Now, there is cause for hope.
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Parker’s journey with brain cancer has been a harrowing experience, but there have been some positives to come out of his battle. It brought his band back together. On hiatus since 2014, the members of The Wanted were inspired to reconnect when they learned of Parker’s diagnosis.
Parker had seen some improvement by January, when he reported a “significant reduction” in the size of his brain tumor. “I am responding well to treatment. Everyday I’m keeping on the fight to shrink this bastard,” he wrote.
Now, he can finally say, “We’ve got my brain tumour under control.” Parker thanked his fans for the support they’ve been to him throughout his cancer battle. “Honestly over the moon,” he said. “We can sleep a little easier tonight.”
Parker’s Brain Cancer Battle
Parker revealed his brain cancer diagnosis with the world in October 2020, writing on Instagram: “Hey guys, you know that we’ve both been quiet on social media for a few weeks and it’s time to tell you why. There’s no easy way to say this but I’ve sadly been diagnosed with a Brain Tumour and I’m already undergoing treatment.” The singer shared that he planned to treat his brain cancer with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
New hope is on the horizon for those battling glioblastoma.
Treating Brain Cancer
While there has finally been some progress in treatment for brain cancer, the diagnosis remains extremely challenging. Treatment options for brain cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Parker has undergone chemotherapy and radiation treatments in an attempt to shrink the size of his brain tumor. In a touching family photo he shared, Parker is seen with a shaved head, which may be a result of his chemotherapy, as hair loss is a side-effect of chemo treatments. Other chemotherapy side-effects include nausea, fatigue and nerve pain.
Experts explain the Optune for treating glioblastoma and help you understand how tumor treating fields work to fight cancer.
New Treatment Option: Tumor-Treating Fields
Treatment for brain cancer has seen tremendous developments in the past two decades, thanks to the use of electrical fields.
Dr. Suriya Jeyapalan, a neuro-oncologist at Tufts Medical Center, spoke in a previous interview about the new treatment options for brain cancer. “There’s been the very exciting development of tumor treating fields, which are electrical fields that have been applied to the brain. They’re basically these adhesive pads, front and back, right and left. They’re connected to a device that now weighs about 2 and 1/2 pounds.”
“And it generates this alternating electric current that has been shown in a major randomized controlled trial – again, an international trial with about 700 patients – to add on another 50% of survival at two years,” said Dr. Jeyapalan. “It was an amazing thing in that we’re now getting almost about 50% of the patients surviving two years and now about a third of the patients surviving five years.”
“And I just want to emphasize to patients that when I first started doing this in 1999, there were maybe less than 5% of patients with this disease that were alive two years. And now we’re getting out to maybe a third of patients alive at five years,” she said.
Patients should consult with their oncologist regarding whether tumor treating fields is a treatment to consider.
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