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Glioblastoma prognosis

We know that prognosis is a sensitive topic and can be difficult to read about. Our Support team is here if this is worrying or upsetting for you.

Your doctor cannot be absolutely certain about what will happen to you following a brain tumour diagnosis. They can give you an estimate, based on your tumour type and current situation, but they may not be able to predict other factors, such as how well you might respond to treatment. Cancer Research UK have some information about the factors which may impact brain tumour survival here

This is why prognosis is often an ongoing process, revised at different stages in your journey.

Glioblastoma survival

The average survival time for glioblastoma is 12-18 months – only 25% of patients survive more than one year, and only 5% of patients survive more than five years.

The figures listed above are given in 1 and 5 year intervals simply because doctors use these intervals for research/measuring purposes – they are not meant to represent how long a person will live past those intervals. For example, a patient who is a 5 year survivor might live as long as any other healthy person, depending on their circumstances.

It is important to remember that statistics and averages cannot tell you what will happen to you specifically.

Glioblastomas are grade 4 brain tumours. They are the most common high grade primary brain tumour in adults. Treatment for GBMs can include surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

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Receiving information about a glioblastoma prognosis

Different people approach their prognosis in different ways.

  • Some do not want to know, because they are afraid of what they might hear and how it may affect them
  • Some just need some time to cope with their diagnosis before asking about their prognosis
  • Others may want to know from the beginning, using their prognosis to plan ahead

There is no right or wrong answer as to whether or when to receive such information. It is entirely up to you whether or when you want to speak to your doctor about your prognosis.

If you are feeling unsure or worried about this, contact our Support team on 0808 800 0004 or at support@thebraintumourcharity.org.


Glioblastoma factsheet – PDF

Our fact sheet gives you an overview of glioblastomas in adults and answers some of the questions you may have about this type of tumour.

Glioblastoma factsheet – Clear Print – PDF

Our clear print fact sheet gives you an overview of glioblastomas in adults and answers some of the questions you may have about this type of tumour.


If you have further questions, need to clarify any of the information on this page, or want to find out more about research and clinical trials, please contact our team:
Support and Information Services
0808 800 0004 Free from landlines and mobiles
Phone lines open Mon-Fri, 09:00-17:00
A member of our Support & Information Team provides support over the phone to somebody affected by a brain tumour diagnosis

Get support

If you need someone to talk to or advice on where to get help, our Support and Information team is available by phone, email or live-chat.