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Brain Scan?


Guest kathleen

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Guest kathleen

Hi everyone - I haven't been here for a while.

an update, my Mom finished 6 taxotere treatments, doing very well with the first 5 and then became very sick with the 6th one. Her primary tumor had shrunk more than 50%. They stopped chemo after the 6th treatment and after 2 months there was no change, growth or shrinkage. So we are waiting now with no chemo. She will have scans again on April 10th to re-check for change. I am soooo nervous.

My questions:

1) Mom's memory has declined, is this normal? although now having been off chemo for about 3 months she is regaining her energy and strenght and seeming more like Mom again.

2) She has never had a brain scan.....is this bad? I have been reading some things today that indicate brain scan could detect cancer in the brain sooner? Has everyone or your loved ones had brain scans? or is this the norm that she has not?

I appreciate any information you can provide. I am sending best wishes to all.

Kate

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I think they recommend all lung cancer patients have an MRI of the brian. If it has spread to the brain and found early they can use radio surgery to get rid of the tumor. This is sucessful with very little side effects. Might be a good idea to ask doctor about brain MRI.

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I never had a brain scan until my third nodule, which is probably cancer. The previous 2 cancers were thought to be early stage, so I guess there was no concern about brain mets. But now, having a third nodule, we did a brain scan just to make sure it was clear. If I had distant mets in my body, I would want frequent brain scans.

Don M

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Kate,

My advice is to insist on a MRI – even if just to get a baseline image of the brain.

My understanding is that stereotactic radiosurgery is recommended for tumors 3 cm or smaller, thereby making early detection crucial.

Upon diagnosis in Sep 04, (primary NSCLC & primary renal cell carcinoma) my mother was given an MRI as a part of the initial “work-up”. She did not receive another brain scan until approximately 6 months after WBR – after I requested it.

I asked her oncologist why he did not order a brain scan every three months to go along with the chest scans. His reply was that it was not standard practice. Apparently “standard practice” is to wait until symptoms appear.

Well, symptoms appeared. My mother had another brain MRI taken on 2/1 and was on the operating table 2/9 having a craniotomy to remove a tumor almost 4 cm big (which we learned was from the kidney cancer).

Good luck to you.

Christine

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John had a bone and brain scan upon diagnosis. His onc wanted to know right away if the cancer was any place else. It makes sense to do them in the beginning so you get a proper stage. Her memory issues may just be from the chemo.

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I agree. The MRI is absolutely necessary.

Many onc.s will order all tests upon diagnosis for a basline reference, some wait until the patient is symptomatic.

In my dad's case, they did not order a bone scan or an MRI upon dx., indicating that they would do these things whenever there were "symptoms"....which would ultimately mean by that time, it would be too late for any real options. I insisted and he eventually had the tests.

Later I learned that that particular doctor never ordered tests unles there were symptoms because his theory was that the extensive lung cancer always met. to the brain and bones, so why bother/burden the patient with bad news. Wait until there are symptoms, and treat the pain pallatively since there is not a cure.

That is unacceptable and in my opinion neglegent if the doctors patient wants to aggressively pursue treatment options.

We didn't see him again after the first 3 months.

I would let the dr. know about her memory loss and your desires for an MRI. Most doctors will comply with your request. Again, memory loss could just be "chemo brain", dehydration, low blood counts, or emotional issues.

Good luck and keep us updated.

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