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Somerville, MA
A 45-year-old female asked:

I keep hearing nightmares about whole head radiation therapy is it that bad for you for small cell lung cancer of the brain?

3 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Depietro
Pulmonary Critical Care 36 years experience
Its often therapy: Small cell lung cancer often recurs in the brain, radiation therapy before this occurs lowers the risk and improves survival.
Dr. Nathan Pennell
Medical Oncology 20 years experience
Not too bad: Brain radiation is the best treatment available for sclc that has spread to the brain. There is some risk of memory issues, but studies have clearly shown that the risk from the cancer is much higher than risk of side effects from the radiation. Common side effects are fatigue, hair loss, and altered taste.
Dr. Gregg Friedman
A Verified Doctor commented
A US doctor answered Learn more
Gregg L. Friedman MD Psychiatrist agrees.
Apr 10, 2013
Dr. Cliff Robinson
Radiation Oncology 18 years experience
Life saving: There is a lot of fear about whole brain radiation, whether for treatment of mets or prevention (prophylactic cranial irradiation) which is largely unfounded. Temporary side effects are fatigue, hair loss, and skin redness. There is little risk of dementia contrary to popular belief. There is a small risk of short term memory effects. Not treating will guarantee severe problems from the tumor.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 45 years experience
There is actually talk of curing small-cell, formerly uniformly fatal. I can also promise any problems with short-term memory will be much worse than the godawful experience of rapidly-growing small-cell metastases in the brain. Go for it. I'll be thinking of you.
Apr 13, 2013
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 45 years experience
Sorry.... I meant "much LESS BAD"..... But I'm excited that there's hope today that small-cell may actually be curable.
Apr 13, 2013
Last updated May 9, 2016


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