Frequently Asked Questions

Expert answers to common questions about brain metastases.
Whole Brain or Cyberknife for Brain Metastases?
Question How do I know if whole brain radiation or cyberknife radiation is better? My doctor said both are an option. Are both as effective? Does one have more side ..
Brain Metastases from Lung Cancer
Question A good friend of mine was recently diagnosed with brain metastases from his lung cancer, adenocarcinoma type. The neurosurgeon said to him that surgery is the treatment of choice ..
Small Cell Lung Cancer Metastasized to the Brain
My mother was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer in January of 2001. She has been through Chemo and radiation and the tumor in her lung did shrink to approx ..
Treatment for Brain Metastasis
Question My brother is 43 years old and had a non-small cell tumor removed from his lung. There was no follow-up treatment because they "got it all." Six months later, ..
Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Brain Metastases
My sister, who is 51, was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in August of 1997. It metastasized to her brain in August of 1998. The tumor was removed, thought to ..
Brain Metastases in Lymphoma
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," In December 2005, I completed 6 treatments of R-CHOP chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. My "final" PET scan (skull to thigh) showed no evidence of residual ..
What are the risks of metastases to the brain with colon cancer?
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," My diagnosis is Stage III colon cancer. Lately I have been having severe headaches and have had no previous history of headaches. My question is ..
How Does a Pediatric Brain Tumor Affect a Child’s Cognitive Ability?
Question My nephew was just diagnosed with a brain cancer. He is 9 years old. What effects can cancer treatment like radiation have on such a young child? Can there ..
Nausea and Vomiting with Whole Brain Radiotherapy
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," After a 3 year remission from breast cancer, my sister was diagnosed with a single brain metastasis in November. This was surgically removed, and then ..
Chemo-Brain
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," What treatments are available for chemo-brain?  My doctor does not believe it is real, and I don’t know where to turn for help.Carolyn Vachani RN, ..
Long-Term Complications of Whole Brain Irradiation
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts," OncoLink has been a very helpful and informative resource to our family since my son was diagnosed with brain cancer. My question has to do ..
Focal hair loss after partial brain irradiation
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," My 15 yr. old daughter has a choriod plexus carcinoma. She received chemotherapy & radiation to the ventricles two months ago. Her hair is coming ..
Long Term Effect of Radiation on Brain Function
Question Does the impact of radiation get worse over years of survivorship (I am a 10yr survivor) - memory loss seems bad, but does impact of it & scar tissue ..
Returning to School After Pediatric Brain Tumor Treatment
Question My 7 year old is being treated for a craniopharyngioma with surgery and radiation. What should I expect when he is ready to go back to school? Will he ..
Brain tumors & choosing a cancer center
My cousin is affected by a brain tumor and is now under treatment at the European tumor center in Milan. We're looking for another center worldwide specialized in the treatment ..
Non-Surgical Approach to Removal of Brain Lesions
I hope I am not troubling you, but I would be grateful for some information about your non-surgical methods of removing brain tumors. The lesions I suffer are Hemangio Blastoma. ..
Hereditary Brain Cancer and Glioblastoma Multiforme
Dear OncoLink,   My mother has recently been diagnosed as having a glioblastoma. I wonder if you could suggest a source for information regarding genetic causes. I had an uncle ..
White Blood Cell Counts Rising During Brain Radiation Therapy
My father in law is in his last week of an intense six week radiation therapy [to the brain]. He has thus far had no major side effects [except] a ..
Prophylactic (Preventative) Radiation of the Brain
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," Could you please give me some information on the use of preventative radiation therapy to the brain? My daughter is in remission from lung cancer, ..
Brain Tumors, High Tension Wires and Other Risk Factors
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," My husband died of glioblastoma multiforme. Is there a link between this disease and exposure to the high tension electrical lines under which he worked? ..
Temozolomide for Brain Tumors
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," My friend has very recently been diagnosed with a grade 4 Glioblastoma. She begins radiation therapy (XRT) next week on a palliative basis. Is there ..
How Does Brain Radiation Affect Fertility in Pediatric Patients?
Question Our doctor said that the radiation for my so's brain cancer may lead to problems with fertility when he is older. How does radiation to the brain effect fertility ..
Is Radiation Always Given After Surgery for Brain Tumor?
Question Is radiation always given after surgery for a brain tumor? When is chemotherapy used? Lisa Lycksell MSN, CRNP Nurse Practitioner at Penn Medicine, responds: Answer Radiation is not always ..
Memory Loss in a Child After Brain Tumor Treatment
Question My daughter had a brain tumor resected 4 yrs ago with no sign of regrowth. She has a VP shunt and some short term memory loss. I am looking ..
Long Term Effects of Pediatric Brain Radiation Therapy
Question Are there any long term effects on children who are treated for brain cancer and cured? Connie Didomenico, CRNP, Nurse Practitioner in Neuro-Oncology at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, ..
Symptoms of Pediatric Brain Tumors
Question What are the symptoms of brain tumors in children? Connie Didomenico, CRNP, Nurse Practitioner in Neuro-Oncology at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia responds: Answer Brain tumors in children can ..
How to Determine if a Brain Tumor is Cancerous (Malignant)
Question How can you be sure a brain tumor is not cancerous? Lisa Lycksell MSN, CRNP Nurse Practitioner at Penn Medicine, responds: Answer You can never be sure that a ..
Advances in Neurosurgery for Brain Tumors
Question We hear about new chemotherapy for brain tumors, but has the field of neurosurgery evolved in how you treat brain tumors? Lisa Lycksell MSN, CRNP Nurse Practitioner at Penn ..
Hydrocephalus (Water on the Brain)
Question Can you explain hydrocephalus? Why does it happen and how do you treat it? Connie Didomenico, CRNP, Nurse Practitioner in Neuro-Oncology at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, responds: Answer ..
Recovery from Surgery to Remove a Brain Tumor
Question What is the recovery like after getting a brain tumor removed? How long will it take to recovery from surgery and how long will I be out of work? ..
Preventive Whole Brain Radiation
Question My husband's doctor recommended whole brain radiation as a preventive treatment (he doesn't have tumor in his brain). What are the pros/cons to this? What about affect on memory, ..
Toxoplasmosis and Brain Lymphoma
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts," What does toxoplasmosis have to do with brain lymphoma? Are they related?   Thanks! B. Li Liu, MD, OncoLink Editorial Assistant, responds: Dear B, Thank ..
Effects of Whole Brain Radiation
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts," Our son was diagnosed with brain cancer. My question has to do with the long-term effects of whole-brain radiation, as I have been unable to ..
Whole brain radiation therapy for CNS lymphoma
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," My mother has Primary Central Nervous System (CNS) Lymphoma. After 6 IV methotrexate treatments, her doctor has recommended radiation. What type of radiation procedures do ..
Chemo Brain
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," I have had problems paying attention and remembering things. I have heard the term "chemobrain", but I dont know what to do about it. Some ..
Lung Cancer Spread to the Brain
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," My cousin had lung cancer and now has brain cancer- but he says it’s not brain cancer - is he just trying to make me ..
Side Effects of Whole Brain Radiation
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," My husband's doctor suggested radiation to the brain to prevent tumors from growing there. Does that work and are there long term problems to getting ..
Itching associated with lung cancer with liver metastasis
Question My cousin has been diagnosed with lung cancer and now has liver cancer and cancer in her lymph nodes. She has severe itching and has these little scabby spots ..
Pain relief for bone metastasis from prostate cancer
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," My father is 65 years old and is suffering severe shoulder pain from metastatic prostate cancer. Is there something we can do for his pain? Erin ..
Hyperthermia Treatments for Liver Metastasis from Breast Cancer
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts," I am trying to find information for a friend with breast cancer, which has spread to her liver. She had a bone marrow transplant that ..
Chemotherapy and Metastasis to the Lungs
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts," My 14-year-old Walker Hound has a leg tumor that was diagnosed as an undifferentiated sarcoma in June. It had already metastasized to his lungs. He's ..
Screening for Metastases in Breast Cancer
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," Having presented with back, shoulder and ear pain, together with loss of balance, I was referred for x-rays and scans, and metastases from the same ..
Clodronate to Prevent Bone Metastases in Prostate Cancer
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts," Are there any studies where clodronate has been used to prevent bone metastases in patients with advanced prostate cancer? In the situation to which I ..
Can I get radiation to my spinal metastases while receiving docetaxel?
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," Can I get radiation to my spinal metastases while receiving docetaxel? Carolyn Vachani RN, MSN, AOCN, OncoLink's Nurse Educator, responds:You should discuss this directly with ..
Treatment options for a dog with osteogenic sarcoma, metastasized to the lungs
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts," I know that you can't give a medical opinion but I wonder if you could offer any advice? I don't expect a miracle but I ..
CyberKnife for Bone Metastases
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," Is there any information on the use of CyberKnife to treat bone metastases in the chest area [that are] associated with recurrent NSCLC? Carolyn Vachani ..
Bone Metastases in Pheochromocytoma
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts," In metastatic pheo, what is the current thinking about treating/removing tumors and bone lesions as they are identified? My understanding is that the concern with ..
Interventional Radiology Procedures for Bone Metastases
Question Can interventional radiology do anything for bone mets in NETs? Answer Ginna Deitrick, CRNP, MSN, Nurse Practitioner for Interventional Radiology at Penn Medicine responds. IR can sometimes treat bone ..
Chemoembolization for Liver Metastases
Question How does chemoembolization work for liver disease? What are the requirements to be eligible for this? Answer Ginna Deitrick, CRNP, MSN, Nurse Practitioner for Interventional Radiology at Penn Medicine ..

News
Cellular + Gene Rx Promising for Breast Cancer Metastatic to Brain

Aug 7, 2013 - Cellular immunotherapy and gene therapy alone or in combination are effective in reducing tumor size and improving survival in a mouse model of breast cancers that have metastasized to the brain, according to a study published in the Aug. 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.



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