The Wanted Singer Tom Parker's Cause Of Death Explained

Tom Parker, former singer for the band The Wanted, died Wednesday after battling an inoperable brain tumor, per Huffington Post. Parker, 33, announced in October 2020 that he had been diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma. Parker underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy to treat the cancer. In November 2021, he shared a post on Instagram stating that the cancer was stable, and in January 2021, he shared that there had been a significant reduction in the size of the tumor. However, glioblastomas are difficult to treat because the cancer cells multiply and divide rapidly. 

Glioblastomas begin as stage four tumors and while they can appear in any part of the brain, they usually grow in the frontal lobe. Healthline reports that this form of cancer can also grow in the brain stem, cerebellum, and spinal cord. The American Brain Tumor Association explains that grade four glioblastomas are aggressive tumors consisting mainly of what is called abnormal astrocytic cells. 

Symptoms and treatment of glioblastomas

Symptoms of glioblastomas occur quickly because of the size of the tumor or because of the fluid surrounding it, which causes brain swelling per the American Brain Tumor Association. Headaches, nausea, and vomiting are common symptoms. Other symptoms include weakness on one side of the body, and loss of appetite, and seizures. The location of the tumor may cause cognitive problems or weakness in the arms, legs, or face. Parker revealed that he had suffered from a seizure when he announced his diagnosis, the Huffington Post reported.

Treating glioblastomas can be challenging because some cells simply do not respond to certain therapies. The American Brain Tumor Association explains that doctors usually perform a surgical procedure to relieve pressure in the brain and remove as much of the tumor as possible. This process is difficult because glioblastomas have tentacle-like components that reach into the brain. In addition, some tumors are close to portions of the brain that control certain functions like speech and movement, making removal risky. Other treatments include immunotherapy, stem cell therapy, and gene therapy (via Healthline).