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Why some cancers are more aggressive than others

[WCCO-TV, July 20, 2017] This week, doctors diagnosed Senator John McCain with an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma. According to the American Brain Tumor Association, only 10 percent of patients live five years with that diagnosis. That’s compared to 90-percent of patients with breast cancer and 65-percent with colon cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.

So, why are some cancers more aggressive than others? Good Question.

“In general, it’s a biological question,” says Dr. John Trusheim, a neuro-oncologist with Allina’s Givens Brain Tumor Center.

He says, first, glioblastoma is a fast-growing tumor that wants to grow into the brain, which makes it difficult for surgeons to remove it without hurting the patient.

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