Long Term Brain Radiation Side Effects-Dizziness

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Long Term Brain Radiation Side Effects-Dizziness

by lin061289 on Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:00 AM

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In 2003 my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer with a Metastasis in the brain.  The brain tumor was removed, she received radiation to the brain, chemo and lung radiation.  She is dizzy now and it is extremely difficult to walk.  This has gotten progressively worse over the last couple of years. Her Oncologists stated this is a side effect of the brain radiation.  Has anyone heard of this and if so do you have any suggestions for improvement?

 

thank you

RE: Long Term Brain Radiation Side Effects-Dizziness

by Lorre_G on Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:00 AM

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Yes, late reaction to radiation happens.  These are due to changes in the white matter and death of brain tissue caused by radiation-damaged blood vessels.  Symptoms can occur months to years after therapy is completed.  These long-term effects are permanent and can be progressive.  Symptoms vary from mild to severe and include:  decreased intellect, memory impairment, confusion, personality changes and alteration of the normal function of the area irradiated.

It is sometimes difficult to diagnose late delayed reactions.  CT & MRI are often unable to distinguish between new tumor growth and radiation changes.  PET scanning might be helpful, but is not totally accurate.  A biopsy of the area may be the only way to determine whether you have radiation changes to your brain or new tumor growth.

Mild reactions may be treated with steroids.  Severe reactions such as tumor necrosis may require surgery to remove dead tissue.  Some researchers are investigating the possible benefits of hyperoxygenation therapy in the hopes of increasing the amount of oxygen in the brain cells which may not be as seriously damaged as others.

The need for a second surgery to remove necrotic tissue is common in patients who receive high doses of radiation.  Research into preventing this type of injury is underway.

RE: Long Term Brain Radiation Side Effects-Dizziness

by Country46 on Thu Jun 24, 2010 03:43 PM

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On Sep 08, 2008 12:00 AM Lorre_G wrote:

Yes, late reaction to radiation happens.  These are due to changes in the white matter and death of brain tissue caused by radiation-damaged blood vessels.  Symptoms can occur months to years after therapy is completed.  These long-term effects are permanent and can be progressive.  Symptoms vary from mild to severe and include:  decreased intellect, memory impairment, confusion, personality changes and alteration of the normal function of the area irradiated.

It is sometimes difficult to diagnose late delayed reactions.  CT & MRI are often unable to distinguish between new tumor growth and radiation changes.  PET scanning might be helpful, but is not totally accurate.  A biopsy of the area may be the only way to determine whether you have radiation changes to your brain or new tumor growth.

Mild reactions may be treated with steroids.  Severe reactions such as tumor necrosis may require surgery to remove dead tissue.  Some researchers are investigating the possible benefits of hyperoxygenation therapy in the hopes of increasing the amount of oxygen in the brain cells which may not be as seriously damaged as others.

The need for a second surgery to remove necrotic tissue is common in patients who receive high doses of radiation.  Research into preventing this type of injury is underway.

My Mother was dignosed with Lung Cancer Last year.  They gave her Prevenative Brain Radiation. She now has all the side effects that Lorre G. talked about.  Is there any thing that can be done to reverse these?

RE: Long Term Brain Radiation Side Effects-Dizziness

by Lorre_G on Thu Jun 24, 2010 03:51 PM

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You might talk with her oncologist and see if they thinking trying steroids might help. They may have some other ideas, as well, if they do think this is radiation related. Lorre G.

RE: Long Term Brain Radiation Side Effects-Dizziness

by CarmensWife on Thu Jun 24, 2010 04:47 PM

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My husband underwent whole brain radition for primary brain cancer. the after effect are horrendous!

He never bounced back after the brain radiation. I am hoping and praying that this lessons, it has only been a year since radiation. Im so worried for the future for him.

No doc will give us a straight answer, i believe they honestly dont know. is it necrosis? its it effects from the tumor? this whole situation is so sad. I wish you peace.

Linda

RE: Long Term Brain Radiation Side Effects-Dizziness

by SweetMelissa on Tue Jul 13, 2010 01:53 AM

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My father underwent radiation to the brain 2 years ago, at which time we were told he had six months to live. 

We are now experiencing everything that has been previously posted, memory problems, he can barely put one foot in front of the other and when he does walk he usually falls.  At the time of the radiation we were told that they did not know the long term effects of radiation to the brain as most patients did not live long enough.  It is so frustrating for us now as we have had him to the emergency room several times for falling and not a single doctor could tell us why he can not walk. 

A nuerologist recently told us all of this due to necrosis from the full head radiation.  And that this will get progessively worse until he is in a wheel chair. We are devastated by this news. 

While I am very sorry for everyone who has posted about a loved one who is going thru this, I am greatful to know that my family and I are not alone.

 

RE: Long Term Brain Radiation Side Effects-Dizziness

by caitlynrock on Tue Aug 31, 2010 07:37 PM

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I am so sadly relieved to read the above posts.  My sister and I have been struggling with my mom.  She received prophylactic brain radiation about a year and a half ago, and I think she is deteriorating, but the doctors say she is fine.  She can't hardly walk - falling constantly, zero strength, loss of words, no concentration, memory lapses, etc.  I am so conflicted.  I know that I should feel blessed that my mom is alive, but I get angry and frustrated and that turns towards her sometimes; especially because I had it in my head that she was somehow just not trying hard enough to get better.  After all, the doctors said there is nothing wrong with her brain...  Thank you all for sharing your stories, I still don't know what to do, but now I know that it's not her, but the radiation.  I believed the doctors, and now I feel terrible for even thinking that my mom just wasn't trying enough...

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