Whole Brain Radiation side effects??

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Whole Brain Radiation side effects??

by Mclfighter on Tue May 20, 2008 12:00 AM

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My mother-in-law is about to have whole brain radiation (begins next week) for a metastatic brain tumor that came from esophageal cancer. She first had the brain tumor on her cerebellum in January and it was resected and completely removed. We chose not to do whole brain radiation because we were not convinced that the benefits outweighed the negatives, but 2 months after her surgery, the tumor was back and at its original size.... which is pretty much unheard of!

So, now we have to do whole brain radiation and we are nervous. Have any of you had whole brain radiation or know someone that did? What were the major side effects and complications that were experienced? Did it keep the tumor from recurring?

Thanks!!

Lia

RE: Whole Brain Radiation side effects??

by Sam38 on Tue May 20, 2008 12:00 AM

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side effects we encountered was softening of the brain and brain swelling 1 year later which caused my spouse's death earlier this month it was so upsetting to be told after the fact about this little secret.

RE: Whole Brain Radiation side effects??

by bbrenda3 on Thu May 22, 2008 12:00 AM

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My father passed in November 2008 from brain cancer he was 68. We choose whole brain radiation and I regret it. My father lay bed ridden for 3 months unable to speak and acted like a 4 year old. The doctors tell us it is because of the radiation that he is acting this way. My father died with no signs of a tumor on his MRI but the radiation killed him. If we would have only known.

Brenda

RE: Whole Brain Radiation side effects??

by cancerloss on Wed Sep 18, 2013 08:03 PM

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On May 20, 2008 12:00 AM Sam38 wrote:

side effects we encountered was softening of the brain and brain swelling 1 year later which caused my spouse's death earlier this month it was so upsetting to be told after the fact about this little secret.
My mother had lung adenocarcinoma with mets to her brain. There were pinpoint spots diffusely dispersed in her brain according to one test on her brain. Despite her own strong reservations about whole brain radiation, she conceded to WBR and radiation of her affected lung. The doctors suggested that these procedures were imperative to preserve her life.. Within a few days of the whole brain radiation, she had serious changes in her physical condition. She had been fully ambulatory but could not walk without a trembling gait afterwards. Although she had no cognitive impairment prior to whole brain radiation, she could not sign her name after less than a week! She could not communicate! My mother was a shell of her former self. Her partial dental plate came out of her mouth soon after WBR. She apparently had been having seizures. She began to display signs of a stroke victim with curling upper limbs, inability to speak or walk, and inability to respond to her environment. In addition after a CT scan follow-up on her lung, it was noted that the radiation to her lung damaged her good lung tissue. Her breathing became far more labored than it had been before radiation to her lung. She couldn't lie flat and breathe. When my mother screamed and displayed a look of extreme terror when lying flat for the whole brain radiation, the radiologist told us he couldn't treat her if she wouldn't cooperate and lie down! He ordered a sedative for her panic symptoms which was given. Almost immediately, my mother experienced periods of apnea and had to have an equivalent of Narcan or face a full code situation! As we watched our mother's condition deteriorate quickly after these radiation procedures, my sisters and I insisted on the CT scan follow-up. My mother's attending general medical physician, Dr. Earle F. Mazyck in Dothan, Alabama, finally complied. He acted like it was a bother and waste of time. In addition to the radiation-induced damage in her lungs, the CT scan revealed a pulmonary embolism. No one knows how long it had been in her lung. The radiology oncologist, Dr. Steven H. Stokes in Dothan, Alabama, said the cognitive impairment and stroke-like symptoms were caused by her disease process! Later, Dr. Steven Stokes said it was all just palliative treatment anyway. He did no tests to find out what negative impact the whole brain radiation had done to her brain. Her stroke-like symptoms were not addressed. My mother died less than a month after whole brain radiation and lung radiation were administered! Had the doctors written her off...after all she had terminal cancer anyway...and hastened her death by the use of these extremely dangerous procedures? My sisters and I believe so! If your loved one is elderly, RUN...not walk...from whole brain radiation!

RE: Whole Brain Radiation side effects??

by cancerloss on Wed Sep 18, 2013 08:06 PM

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On May 22, 2008 12:00 AM bbrenda3 wrote:

My father passed in November 2008 from brain cancer he was 68. We choose whole brain radiation and I regret it. My father lay bed ridden for 3 months unable to speak and acted like a 4 year old. The doctors tell us it is because of the radiation that he is acting this way. My father died with no signs of a tumor on his MRI but the radiation killed him. If we would have only known.

Brenda

My mother had lung adenocarcinoma with mets to her brain. There were pinpoint spots diffusely dispersed in her brain according to one test on her brain. Despite her own strong reservations about whole brain radiation, she conceded to WBR and radiation of her affected lung. The doctors suggested that these procedures were imperative to preserve her life.. Within a few days of the whole brain radiation, she had serious changes in her physical condition. She had been fully ambulatory but could not walk without a trembling gait afterwards. Although she had no cognitive impairment prior to whole brain radiation, she could not sign her name after less than a week! She could not communicate! My mother was a shell of her former self. Her partial dental plate came out of her mouth soon after WBR. She apparently had been having seizures. She began to display signs of a stroke victim with curling upper limbs, inability to speak or walk, and inability to respond to her environment. In addition after a CT scan follow-up on her lung, it was noted that the radiation to her lung damaged her good lung tissue. Her breathing became far more labored than it had been before radiation to her lung. She couldn't lie flat and breathe. When my mother screamed and displayed a look of extreme terror when lying flat for the whole brain radiation, the radiologist told us he couldn't treat her if she wouldn't cooperate and lie down! He ordered a sedative for her panic symptoms which was given. Almost immediately, my mother experienced periods of apnea and had to have an equivalent of Narcan or face a full code situation! As we watched our mother's condition deteriorate quickly after these radiation procedures, my sisters and I insisted on the CT scan follow-up. My mother's attending general medical physician, Dr. Earle F. Mazyck in Dothan, Alabama, finally complied. He acted like it was a bother and waste of time. In addition to the radiation-induced damage in her lungs, the CT scan revealed a pulmonary embolism. No one knows how long it had been in her lung. The radiology oncologist, Dr. Steven H. Stokes in Dothan, Alabama, said the cognitive impairment and stroke-like symptoms were caused by her disease process! Later, Dr. Steven Stokes said it was all just palliative treatment anyway. He did no tests to find out what negative impact the whole brain radiation had done to her brain. Her stroke-like symptoms were not addressed. My mother died less than a month after whole brain radiation and lung radiation were administered! Had the doctors written her off...after all she had terminal cancer anyway...and hastened her death by the use of these extremely dangerous procedures? My sisters and I believe so! If your loved one is elderly, RUN...not walk...from whole brain radiation!

RE: Whole Brain Radiation side effects??

by cancerloss on Wed Sep 18, 2013 08:07 PM

Quote | Reply

On May 20, 2008 12:00 AM Mclfighter wrote:

My mother-in-law is about to have whole brain radiation (begins next week) for a metastatic brain tumor that came from esophageal cancer. She first had the brain tumor on her cerebellum in January and it was resected and completely removed. We chose not to do whole brain radiation because we were not convinced that the benefits outweighed the negatives, but 2 months after her surgery, the tumor was back and at its original size.... which is pretty much unheard of!

So, now we have to do whole brain radiation and we are nervous. Have any of you had whole brain radiation or know someone that did? What were the major side effects and complications that were experienced? Did it keep the tumor from recurring?

Thanks!!

Lia

My mother had lung adenocarcinoma with mets to her brain. There were pinpoint spots diffusely dispersed in her brain according to one test on her brain. Despite her own strong reservations about whole brain radiation, she conceded to WBR and radiation of her affected lung. The doctors suggested that these procedures were imperative to preserve her life.. Within a few days of the whole brain radiation, she had serious changes in her physical condition. She had been fully ambulatory but could not walk without a trembling gait afterwards. Although she had no cognitive impairment prior to whole brain radiation, she could not sign her name after less than a week! She could not communicate! My mother was a shell of her former self. Her partial dental plate came out of her mouth soon after WBR. She apparently had been having seizures. She began to display signs of a stroke victim with curling upper limbs, inability to speak or walk, and inability to respond to her environment. In addition after a CT scan follow-up on her lung, it was noted that the radiation to her lung damaged her good lung tissue. Her breathing became far more labored than it had been before radiation to her lung. She couldn't lie flat and breathe. When my mother screamed and displayed a look of extreme terror when lying flat for the whole brain radiation, the radiologist told us he couldn't treat her if she wouldn't cooperate and lie down! He ordered a sedative for her panic symptoms which was given. Almost immediately, my mother experienced periods of apnea and had to have an equivalent of Narcan or face a full code situation! As we watched our mother's condition deteriorate quickly after these radiation procedures, my sisters and I insisted on the CT scan follow-up. My mother's attending general medical physician, Dr. Earle F. Mazyck in Dothan, Alabama, finally complied. He acted like it was a bother and waste of time. In addition to the radiation-induced damage in her lungs, the CT scan revealed a pulmonary embolism. No one knows how long it had been in her lung. The radiology oncologist, Dr. Steven H. Stokes in Dothan, Alabama, said the cognitive impairment and stroke-like symptoms were caused by her disease process! Later, Dr. Steven Stokes said it was all just palliative treatment anyway. He did no tests to find out what negative impact the whole brain radiation had done to her brain. Her stroke-like symptoms were not addressed. My mother died less than a month after whole brain radiation and lung radiation were administered! Had the doctors written her off...after all she had terminal cancer anyway...and hastened her death by the use of these extremely dangerous procedures? My sisters and I believe so! If your loved one is elderly, RUN...not walk...from whole brain radiation!
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