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Lung cancer spread to brain

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Old 09-30-2008, 10:30 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Orange Park, Fl
Posts: 3
lorraine1685 HB User
Question Lung cancer spread to brain

My husband was diagnosed with non small cell lung cancer in April 2007, her underwent chemo until May 2008. At that time his lung cancer had not grown nor had it shrunk. We just discovered that it has spread to the brain. He is in the process of whole brain radiation now, for 15 days. I am just wondering if anyone knows the chances of re-occurance or the possibility that it could have spread someplace else in his body. He is 66 years old, diabetic and has advanced emphysema. What is the typical tests that should be done at this point. I am asking because he does not want to ask the Dr's and they have been great.

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Old 09-30-2008, 12:42 PM   #2
DawnieD1217's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Clover, South Carolina
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DawnieD1217 HB User
Re: Lung cancer spread to brain

Hi Lorraine -

My mom was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer August 2007. It has spread to her brain and she had radiation done 1 time and then had brain surgery to remove the tumor on Spetember 11th, 2007. The cancer had also spread to a lymph node in her neck and groin. She has been doing chemo off and on for a year. Now she is actually in remission and doing great. She has a PET Scan done about every 3 months - (just to see if the cancer has spread or shrank). Also, her doctor says that even though she is in remission, she will have to do a round of chemo every 6 weeks. As for asking the doctor's, that's what they are there for. Hopefully they can help alleviate any fears and give you insight on your questions you have for them. My mom's doctor's are great, too. But I ask every question under the sun because my folks won't!! I don't know if this has helped any, but there is hope. You and your husband will be in my thoughts and prayers...........

Old 09-30-2008, 10:53 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Katonah, NY
Posts: 49
blueeyes62 HB User
Re: Lung cancer spread to brain

Hi Lorraine,
My mother was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer in 9/06. They found many tumors in her brain. They did a chest xray and had found nothing there, but when they di a cat scan of her chest that is when they found a tiny lesion in her left lung. The doctors really weren't concerned about the lung. They were mor worried about her brain. They did 15 treatments of radiation to her brain. After they were done. she had another scan of her brain and everything looked clear. Then she had 6 months of chemo to the rest of her body. They only had found the tiny lesion on her lung. The doctors couldn't believe that it had spread from there. My mother was taken off the chemo because the doctors said that she took well to the chem treatments. She wasn't even off the treatments for one week and she started developing severe pain in her jaw on the left side. Her oncologist told her that it wasn't cancer. He said that it was inflammation and he gave her an antibiotic, but it didn't clear up. He sent her to an oral surgeon and he told her that she had osteocronosis of the jaw and he took her off this one chemo drug, because he said that some patients do get this problem. Anyway it turned out not to be inflamattion or osteocronosis. My mother had a massive stroke in May 2007 and another oral surgeon had looked at her in the hospital and he said that he didn't like the looks of her jaw. She had an appt. with him when she got out of the hospital. He found a massive tumor in her left jawbone. She had radiation to the jaw for the pain, but it didn't help. My mother started getting severe pain in her lower back, she had a pet scan done and the cancer was then in her L2 and L3 and back in her chest again. The only thing was to do radiation of her hip for the pain. She had that done, but it didn't help. She started going down hill very quickly and then passed away on 7/28/07. She was 70 yrs. old. It was so devistating to see your mother, your best friend pass away right in front of your own eyes. I miss her terribly and I never thought that I would lose her at 70. Thanks for listening to me. Blueeyes

Old 10-01-2008, 07:25 AM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Orange Park, Fl
Posts: 3
lorraine1685 HB User
Re: Lung cancer spread to brain

So sorry you had to go thru all of that with your Mom. My Mom died in 1991 from lung cancer, they did not have as much knowledge and treatment plans back then as they do now. Thanks for the encourgement.

Old 10-01-2008, 07:27 AM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Orange Park, Fl
Posts: 3
lorraine1685 HB User
Re: Lung cancer spread to brain

Thanks for your encourgement, just hang in there. They are coming out with so many new medications now. My husband is actually doing a clinical study along with is radiation, may not help him, but the results could help someone else 5 years from now.
We just have to keep on praying.

Old 12-03-2008, 10:52 AM   #6
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: chicago il
Posts: 101
jeaniek HB User
Re: Lung cancer spread to brain

I'm very sorry to hear what you guys are going through.

The best questions to ask about tumors to the brain are:
how many?
where are they located?
what type of emotional/behavioral side effects can I expect?
Are seizures a concern? and if so, will anything be done to prevent?
Is lazer surgery an option?
And with radiation/surgery what is the chance of recurrence?

My father passed away from Small Cell Lung Cancer almost 2 years ago. Unfortunately when he was diagnosed, he already had several tumors in different areas of his brain, so the new procedure of lazer surgery was not an option for him.
He did chemo and then went through whole brain radiation - chemo cannot penetrate a protective barrier that our body has in our head...He tolerated both pretty well...but he did have side effects of the brain tumors.
The most common being seizures..which were controlled by steroids
and the changes in his personality. Some of these were dealing with cancer at the time, it takes a lot of strength and is very trying to do...but some such as him getting angry more often were due to the location of his tumors. Also he lost some of his ability moving around as good as he once did.

There are constantly new innovations in the medicine I'm not trying to give a dyer picture of the situation...only what you MAY be up against. Each person's cancer is an entirely different scenario then what my father went through may not be what your hubby will experience...but what helped me the most when I was caring for my father during his battle was to research everything and if something did come up I was prepared and ready to tackle it...and we did both good and bad

Best of luck for you guys~

Last edited by jeaniek; 12-03-2008 at 10:53 AM.

Old 12-10-2008, 11:50 AM   #7
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: dallas tx usa
Posts: 51
chaz50 HB User
Re: Lung cancer spread to brain

Sorry your going through this, of course no one here can know, each case is different. But if I can suggest, if you want answers to these type questions and your husband does not, if I was you I would call and talk to his doctors on your own. They are the only ones that can give you the facts.

Old 03-20-2009, 07:39 PM   #8
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 691
snowmelts HB User
Re: Lung cancer spread to brain

I had a vision problem.. ct scan showed fast growing braintumor..admitted to hospital. Jan 5 2009. CT brain scans chest X ray ...BIOPSY of lung....
results stage 4 non-small cell lung caner that spin off a couple brain tumors pressing optic nerve cause the sight problem. 11 days hospital
Since then :
Chemo every week (Have surically inserted port to do it)
had many many days of spot radiation...
2 days after CYBER-KNIVE surgeies over I got dizzy passed 8 days...they said now anemic?
Home again this week..did Chemo on tues'
Oncologist gave shot for anemic.
my sight is still screwed up so bad and I am weak from all this treatment but
LUNG XRAYS and BRAIN CT SCAN both show the tumors are now SMALLER

So the fight goes on
I'm certainly no Dr. AND I'm not always right so if I say something someone disagres with..that's fine.
When correcting me you are setting me straight and it's appreciated.

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