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What Happens When Cancer Spreads To The Brain?

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer, you must have heard the term “metastasis”. Brain metastasis, in particular, occurs when the cancerous cells detach themselves from the primary tumor, travel through the bloodstream or the lymphatic system, and then settle in the brain. Although the metastatic tumors are usually composed of the same type of cancer cells as the primary tumor, they might develop new mutations.

The brain is one of the most prevalent sites for metastases. Brain metastasis affects one out of every four cancer patients. Furthermore, among adults, brain metastases are the most common type of brain malignancy. Although any type of cancer can travel to the brain, the most common sources of brain metastases are cancers of the lungs, breasts, kidneys, or colon.

What Are The Symptoms Of Brain Metastasis?

The common symptoms of tumors spreading in the brain are:

  • Seizures
  • Numbness
  • Problems with balance and coordination.
  • Problems with speech.
  • Occasionally, headaches are accompanied by nausea or vomiting.
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion, memory loss, and personality changes, vision impairment; these are all symptoms of cognitive decline.

How Is Brain Metastasis Detected?

When the main malignancy is recognised, brain metastases may be discovered. Alternatively, if a person exhibits symptoms, a doctor may suggest specific testing based on those symptoms. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are examples of tests.

How Can It Be Treated?

Surgery, radiation therapy, and pharmaceutical therapy are the most common therapies for brain metastasis. The type of treatment is determined by a number of factors, including the type of primary cancer diagnosed, the number of tumors and their location in the brain, the genetic mutations discovered in cancer cells, the person's overall health, previous treatments, and other considerations. When it comes to treatment, people may also think about participating in a clinical experiment. Clinical trials are a viable option for cancer patients at any stage.

If the number of metastasis is small, the disease is under control, and the patient is in good general health, surgery is frequently regarded as the first option. Radiation therapy, such as radiosurgery and whole-brain radiation, may be suggested. When cancer has progressed to only a few locations, radiosurgery is a popular treatment. Whole-brain radiation therapy is usually the best therapeutic option when people have significant lesions deep in the brain or multiple lesions throughout the brain. To minimize negative effects, the treatments are spread out across several weeks. Chemotherapy is only used in a small percentage of cases to treat metastasis in the brain. Some persons with brain metastasis have benefited from targeted therapy and immunotherapy. People will often use steroids to assist in minimizing edema.

Discuss all treatment choices with your doctor. Treatment side effects and tumor(s) can often be managed with the support of your healthcare provider and the team of people who look after you. This is referred to as palliative or supportive care, which is an important part of the overall treatment.

Where To Seek Help?

Dr. Vijay Karan Reddy is the best brain cancer specialist in Hyderabad who understands the connection that a patient forms with their doctor, and strives to maintain this trust by providing quality care and accurate diagnosis, irrespective of the financial situation of the patient. He has several years of experience in handling complex brain cancers cases.

For a detailed consultation, book an appointment today!

Dr. Vijay Karan Reddy, is an accomplished renowned and reputed Radiation Oncologist, having completed his M.D from the famous Cancer Institute (WIA), Adyar, Chennai. For Appointments please call: (+91) 99123 20002.