Doctor insights on:
What Happens When Cancer Spreads To The Brain
Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more
If a person has cancer that has spread to the brain from another body site, the person may have symptoms such as headache, confusion, personality changes, seizures, etc...
If there is suspicion of metastatic cancer in the brain, then the patient can undergo imaging studies of the brain such as a ct scan or an mri. These studies will allow the care team to diagnoses metastases in most situations. ...Read more
Metastatic cancer: People can die from metastatic cancer from different causes- including: severe infection, severe malnutrition, or organs failure. Metastatic disease to the brain should be treated obviously. Any occupying lesion in the brain may increase pressure inside the skull/brain. As the skull/brain is a close space- any increase pressure may cause herniation of the brain stem and it can cause demise. ...Read more
Not necessarily: Many brain tumors are treated primarily with radiation. Some low grade ones may need both ...Read more
Not common: Bladder cancer typically spreads to regional lymph nodes around bladder first. At advance stages, it may progress and spread to other abdominal organs (liver, prostate, vagina, uterus, urethra, etc.) but typically not brain. ...Read more
Mom had breast cancer in 2006 & in 2009 metastasis to lung, brain&eye happened. On 2012 tumor spread to bones and liver. Now she can't move easily&tired?
Fatigue: I would suggest getting in touch with a palliative care specialist. Your mom may benefit from optimizing her medications and improving her symptom and pain control. They can also help give advice for your social situation in helping taking care of her. She may benefit from inpatient or outpatient hospice. ...Read more
Almost never: Tumors that start in the brain (such as glioma- the most common primary tumor) almost never metastasize outside the brain, to the extent that they are reportable as case reports. ...Read more
What is the survival rate for someone with stage 4 ovarian cancer that has spread to the brain, when she is 84?
Person has stage 4 cancer with mets to the brain, and now has bilateral pneumonia, how bad is this? Is this the cancer trying to spread? What's next?
Very bad: The cancer does not have to try to spread, it already has. Discuss this with the person's doctor and get an estimate of how long they are expected to survive and whether it is time to call in hospice. You also need to ask what further therapy is likely to make a meaningful difference in survival and whether that survival is functional or just further misery. Good luck. ...Read more
Lung cancer: The different cell types of lung cancer have the propensity to spread to different organs either due to blood stream patterns, adjacent anatomy or the affinity of these other organs to receive and grow these cancer strains. It turns out that the brain is one of those susceptible organs. ...Read more
Not long...: ...I'm afraid, particularly if it's spread to the brain. It may vary depending on whether he gets treatment and how well it works but in general his prognosis is very poor. I would focus on helping him feel as good as possible for whatever time he is given rather than guessing how long he actually has. ...Read more
If cancer started in the penis would you be dead before it got to the brain? Or could it spread all the way to the brain and then kill you?
Cancer spread: The spread of cancer is 3 ways: local where infiltrates surrounding area; through the lymph system which goes through the body like the blood system. Both these systems can spread cancer to any part of the body at any one time if the cancer is in it. If the cancer is not in one of the systems the cancer may never get to the brain. The general answer to your question is either could occur. ...Read more
The doctors think my grandpa's bladder cancer spread to his brain but how? He hasn't had bladder cancer in about 6 months. He does have CLL leukemia
Probable bladder met: CLL usually remains dormant for long periods. I've had several patients with bladder Ca with mets to brain. Prior to treatment of the primary bladder lesion which can control disease either by fulguration and or BCG some tumor cells may have invaded blood system. Cells in blood have reservoir in bone marrow and as such 6 mo. After primary treatment cells leave marrow to implant in brain ...Read more
Stage IV lung cancer: Straight to the point...There is nothing that will change or delay the inevitalbe. Everyday is a blessing and is precious and you should treat it as such. The text books will say six months or less but it is usually a lot less. Some patients will last a few days and others will take a few weeks depending on their overall strength. They are only traveling the path we all will soon follow. ...Read more
Is it possible for physicians to miss the dx. Of cancer on an MRI when it has spread all the way to your brain?
Not often: Mri is quite good at recognizing metastatic cancer in the brain, once a tumor had grown to the size at which it can be detected...Usually a few millimeters in diameter. Mri cannot detect microscopic spread. Of course, it is always possible for MRI films to be misread, as those who read them are human and might make a mistake. ...Read more
Friends dad has liver cancer that has spread into the blood and reached his brain and is halucinating constantly will he survive?
Mets to Brain:
Unfortunately, a cure would be very unlikely. But, survivial time and quality of life are increasing there are meds that can treat disease that spreads and newer treatment that involve radiation that specfically targets small tumors. Reasearch and trials of antibodies
targeting certain tumor types continue. Still, the best way is finding the breast cancer very early in the breast through exams etc. ...Read more
Depends: This depends on the biology of the cancer and the initial stage of the disease when brought to medical attention. "triple-negative" breast cancers (er-, pr-, her2-) are more likely to result in brain metastases than "hormone-receptor" positive breast cancers, which tend to have slower courses of recurrence and don't usually show up in the brain. Talk to your surgeon or oncologist for more info! ...Read more
Highly variable: In colon cancer, up to 25% survival at 3 years, if good response to chemo. Every colon cancer responds to meds differently, and new genetic tests can help pick meds that might be best. I recommend to get affairs in order, apologize to those who you have wronged/crossed, express love & gratitude to those for whom you care, and find joy and peace in each day. Best wishes! Dr. T. ...Read more
Brain Mets: (metastasis) as an entity comprise 100k per year. Lung cancer leads the league, but breast, melanoma, kidney are quite common. Prostate almost never. Only rhabdoid tumors in children commonly go to brain. This pattern stares at us, but baffles us as to why "organotropic" patterns of metastasis are so predictable. ...Read more
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