- Symptoms and Signs of Brain Metastasis
- Treating Brain Metastasis
- External Beam Radiation Therapy for Brain Metastasis
- Potential Side Effects
- Caring for Yourself During Treatment
- Blurred or double vision
- Memory and/or personality changes
- Speech changes
- Numbness or weakness in part of your body
- Problems with balance
- Radiation Therapy (Radiotherapy) - This treatment is highly effective for treating some brain metastases, since it can bypass the blood brain barrier and focus on killing cancer cells. .
- Surgery - this treatment method is recommended for those who are suffering from one brain metastasis. Surgery helps doctors confirm the presence of brain metastasis, as well as helps make the patient more comfortable by releasing pressure on the brain.
- Chemotherapy - This method utilizes specialized medication that targets and kills cancer cells. The downside to treating brain metastasis using chemotherapy is that the medication may not pass through the blood-brain area.
- Rest - rest is absolutely necessary for those going through treatment, since it allows your body to recover and helps keep up your strength.
- Strong Support System - Coping with cancer may be easier with good support from family and friends, so reach out to them if your need support. There are also support groups that your doctor can recommend.
- Ask All Of Your Questions - Before and during your treatment, go ahead and ask any questions that you have about brain metastasis, your treatment options, and more. Just remember that there is no such thing as a bad question!
- Safety First - It is important to tell your doctor about any medications or vitamins you are taking to make sure they are safe to use during radiation therapy. You should also ask the doctor if it’s safe for you to drive, or if you need someone to drive you after treatment.
- Eat Healthy - Try to eat a balanced diet, since it’s essential to keep up your strength during therapy. Radiation treatment can alter your taste buds, causing food to taste different, so just ask your doctor or get help from a dietician to create a healthier diet.
- Be Careful With The Treatment Area - The area exposed to radiation must be treated with special care. This includes staying out of the sun, avoiding hot and cold packs, cleaning the area with warm water and mild shampoo (such as baby shampoo), and using lotions and ointments only after checking with your doctor or nurse.
FACTS ABOUT BRAIN METASTASIS
Cancer can originate in any part of the body and has the capability to spread.. If the cancerous cells make their way to the brain, forming clusters of malignant, cancerous cells, this is known as brain metastasis. This is not the same as brain cancer, since it does not originate from the brain, but this does not make it any less dangerous. In fact, brain metastasis is almost three times as likely to develop in an existing cancer patient than those who develop primary brain tumors. About 24-45% of cancer patients in the U.S. develop brain metastasis each year, and many cancer patients who have received treatment in the past can still develop it months and years after.
However, you should never lose hope, since advances cancer treatment technology allow for many treatment options to be available for brain metastasis, helping patients find relief and extending their life. For more information about metastasis, you can find more information below, or call Northeastern Nevada Radiation Oncology Center, and our team of cancer treatment experts will be able to help you.
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Brain Metastasis Symptoms
The symptoms for those suffering from brain metastasis varies, with the possibility of no symptoms or signs manifesting at all. If you have received cancer treatment in the past, or if you’re currently going through treatment, make sure that you’re also getting regular check ups where you doctor can get new scans, look for symptoms or signs, and diagnose brain metastasis. Some of the most common symptoms of brain metastasis are:
If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately to schedule an appointment. These symptoms are not exclusive to brain metastasis, and can also be signs for other health issues that may require treatment.
TREATING BRAIN METASTASIS
Brain metastasis are simply cancer cells that have spread and formed clusters in the brain, and can be treated using the same or similar methods to treating the original type of cancer. Unfortunately, patients cannot be cured of their cancer or brain metastasis from these treatments, but they will provide a dramatic improvement in quality of life. A common misconception about the success rate of treating brain metastasis depends on how many metastasis there are. This is not true, but instead relies heavily on where the original cancer came from (breast cancer, lung cancer, etc.), what other parts of the body has the cancer spread, and how well the cancer responds to treatment.
EXTERNAL BEAM RADIATION THERAPY FOR BRAIN METASTASIS
At Northeastern Nevada Radiation Oncology Center, we’re all about providing only the highest quality radiation cancer treatment, with a professional cancer treatment team supporting you every step of the way. External beam radiation therapy is just one of the safe and effective treatment methods that can be used to treat many types of cancer, including brain metastasis. The treatment itself only takes a couple minutes per session, and is completely painless while it eliminates cancerous cells.
Treating brain metastasis using external beam radiation therapy can go in two different routes depending on the case and what type of treatment is determined to be best by your radiation oncologist. Radiation treatment can be targeted at the whole brain for a comprehensive approach, or your doctor can opt to provide you with a single, high-dose radiation treatment called “stereotactic radiosurgery”, that targets a specific area of the brain. It’s also possible that your doctor will create a treatment plan for you that includes both of these methods.
What To Expect Before Radiation Treatment
Before your doctor can treat your brain metastasis, first you will need to undergo a process called a “simulation”, where high quality images are taken of your brain using x-rays and CT scans. These imaging tests will help locate the brain metastasis, and allow your doctor to map out a treatment plan for you.
Are There Side Effects To Radiation Treatment?
Side effects from radiation treatment can vary, so it’s best to contact the radiation treatment experts at Northeastern Nevada Radiation Oncology Center with questions or concerns.. Make sure you ask your doctor everything you want to ask about radiation treatment, what to expect, and if there are any side effects.
If there are any negative side effects from radiation treatment, you have a team of professionals at your side ready to help you keep fighting to get through it.
SELF-CARE DURING RADIATION CANCER TREATMENT
Fighting cancer and brain metastasis is a long, challenging battle. While our team at Northeastern Nevada Radiation Oncology Center will do everything we can to make sure that you’re comfortable during treatment, there are also ways that you can care for yourself to help the treatment process. Here are some ways you can care for yourself during your brain metastasis treatment.
CONTACT YOUR ELKO, NV RADIATION ONCOLOGY CENTER
If you have any questions about brain metastasis, or the treatment options available, contact Northeastern Nevada Radiation Oncology Center and we’ll be more than happy to help you get what you need. Our professional staff state-of-the-art radiation therapy technology come together to provide you with the personal, compassionate cancer treatment that you deserve.
*Content provided by the American Society for Radiation Oncology, www.rtanswers.org, and the American Cancer Society.