DETROIT -- Donna Vinson suddenly felt she "couldn't think well." She was far off from choosing the right words, even pointing to a garbage can once as she asked a family member to pass the potatoes.
She and her doctor hoped stress from her father's death was causing the problem. But a scan found four menacing tumors deep in her brain.
Vinson, 53, of Sterling Heights, Mich., has glioblastoma, one of the most aggressive types of tumor. She wants to be in the group of one in 20 alive five years after diagnosis, so she can return to traveling, camping and doting on her five grandchildren.
New advances in brain imaging and tumor genetics from researchers in Detroit and elsewhere are helping more patients like Vinson survive longer, from just months to several years or more.
The imaging breakthroughs are giving surgeons better visual information before and during operations so they can remove nearly all of a tumor and increase survival rates.