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steph in long beach
Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2013

i need to know if chemo treats cancer in brain that has spread from lung.if not how fast does it grow

 

dennycee
Posts: 688
Joined: Mar 2011

Sorry to have to tell you no.  There is a protective barrier in the vessels that feed the brain.  The process Protects the brain from most things that can affect it.  the cells that let nourishment through are smaller than the size of the chemo molecule. The chemo agent cannot get through to the cancer cells.  This link will take you to the resource that made it clearest for me.  

http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/bbb.html

Jasper County Native
Posts: 15
Joined: Jan 2013

DennyCee is right.  As far as I know your options are surgery and radiation treatment, etiher whole brain or targeted (Gamma Knife, etc.)  I can't say about how fast it grows, I guess that depends on many factors including type.

jalu
Posts: 58
Joined: Jan 2013

I have to give my two cents worth here...from a book I read:  Surviving "Terminal" Cancer by Ben A. Williams, PhD., who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 1995 (basically ALL brain cancer is terminal), but is alive an well today with clean MRI's due to his research and use of alternative medicines ALONG with the standard treatments of surgery, chemo and radiation.  His story is amazing.

Related to chemotherapy and the blood brain barrier, he states that:  Much of a tumor's blood-brain barrier is NO LONGER INTACT which is why the contrast agent used during an MRI provides diagnostic information.  The tumor cells absorb the contrast agent WHILE NORMAL BRAIN CELLS DO NOT.  In addition, tumor cells in early development do NOT have a disrupted blood-brain barrier and therefore are NOT detectable on the MRI.  This same variablity also applies to the absorption of chemotherapy agents implying a potential benefit to the use of chemotherapy for brain cancer, at least on the tumors whose blood brain barrier is disrupted.  He believes he received significant benefit from the chemo treatments he endured:  BCNU and PCV (along with his alternative therapies to not only make his chemo treatments MORE EFFECTIVE and to lessen side effects).

Ultimately his tumor(s) completely shrunk and disappeared and NO NEW TUMORS HAVE SHOWN UP.

I recommend the book -- an amazing approach to winning the battle against "incurable" cancer.  He did it.  

You ask another question -- how fast does it grow?  Good question which we asked our doctor related to my Mother.  Diagnosed with non-small cell adenocarcinoma of the lung in March 2012, it was treated successfully with targeted radiation and the lung is fine today.  BUT, not before it metastasized to the brain.  Here -- one year later, after targeted radiation treatment of 5 of the tumors in the brain in September, the most recent MRI shows now 14 tumors -- all growing -- including the ones treated with targeted radiation in September.  The largest one is in the optical region of the brain and has begun to impact her vision.  The prognosis here in March 2013 is that she has one to two months to live without Whole Brain Radiation Therapy(WBRT) and maybe six months to live with WBRT.  So, we are talking "last resort" options.  A sad story.  Even though it is a "slow" growing cancer -- in a year, it is ravaging and now -- even a small growth of one of the tumors she has can kill her!  There isn't much room in the brain -- it doesn't take long for any growing tumor to do it's damage and take you down -- slow growing -- fast growing -- ANY growth is BAD.

Her oncologist has never suggested chemo for her, but I don't believe he prescribed an agressive approach to her care either.  At age 86 (healthy all her life), he has chosen the least invasive treatments for her and now we are at the last resort.  I go to her appointments with her and suggest alternatives -- I really pushed for Gamma Knife treatment for all the 14 tumors, but he kept saying -- my ethical oath requires me to recommend what is BEST FOR YOUR MOTHER -- REGARDLESS of what you say.  And his recommendation was WBRT.  I guess either way -- she won't win, but I've been disappointed.  The book I referenced above is very critical of the oncology profession today.  Their standard treatments consist of Slash (surgery), Burn (radiation) and Poison (chemo) -- and for brain cancer, NONE OF THESE ARE A CURE.  We aren't even close.  For example, Mr. Williams points out a study in Italy -- oncologists here won't acknowledge -- that taking Melatonin during radiation DOUBLED SURVIVAL TIMES for patients with many different types of cancer.  Yet you ask an oncologist or radiologist about the use of Melatonin with treatment and they "pooh-pooh" it.  Sad.  Patients deserve EVERY chance they can get.  JEEZ!  Melatonin has far less side effects and less toxicity than the radiation!  

SAD! 

 

steph in long beach
Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2013

thank you so much for ur input.i guess i should say what is wrong with us.my mother in law,mine as well be my mom,was diagnosed in november 2012 with

stage four small cell lung cancer that spread to liver and brain.we have done four chemo treatments in all.somehow we hav no side effects,besides a little hyperness.

between treatments she is regular old mom.depressed from lack of things to do,but mostly just the same as ever.my son,her grandson is front and center for all of this.also he is only 11,and im scared to death of not knowing whats gona happen next.we r all so close,this truely is heartbreaking.I WILL GO RIGHT NOW AND GET THAT BOOK.THANK YOU SO MUCH.I HOPE SOMETHING IN THERE COULD MAKE ALL THIS FIXABLE.i to am at every appt.and am always putting in my 2 cents .if there is something in the book for us i will be on it.

I CANT THANK YOU ENOUGH

STEPH

Jasper County Native
Posts: 15
Joined: Jan 2013

You keep on putting in your two cents and question everything!  Some docs can handle it and some can't.

steph in long beach
Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2013

i always hav at least a page or two of questions each time we go.those are just any little thing that crosses my mind between apts.they take time to anser all,but offer nothing.what happens with all the things i dont know to ask?do they tell everyone 6-12 months to live just to cover their ass?i really wish i had some kinda control with this.

or if i even had any answers for my kids 1000s of questions about what will happen to gma.im getting off track,i only ment to say thanks

jalu
Posts: 58
Joined: Jan 2013

I feel our doctor(s) did not tell us.  So many answers "avoided".  Two examples I can think of:

 -- With my Mother's targeted radiation to the brain in September, they put her on a large dose of steriods.  She weights 90 pounds.  There were NO CAUTIONS FROM THE DOCTOR -- about any of the side effects ON the steriods and the side effects coming OFF the steriods.  They were VERY HARD on my Mother.  

-- The book I reference for example talks about radiation.  Radiation works by oxidization.  In order to make radiation more effective for you, stop your intake of antioxidants which are counteractive to what the radiation is trying to do.  Before radiation -- did the doctor tell us any of that?  NOPE.  I asked the radiologist.  She said SHE didn't think that would make any difference, but go ahead and do it.  HECK LADY, MY MOTHER IS DYING -- WE ARE OPTING FOR THIS GOD AWFUL WHOLE BRAIN RADIATION YOU ARE RECOMMENDING -- we'll take ANYTHING we can get.

NOTE: The book I reference also talks about how you can make chemotherapy more effective for you with perhaps less side effects.  For example, chemo works by breaking down the immune system.  You do not want to be taking doses of immune system boosters in most vitamins or antioxidants (like vitamin A) during chemotherapy.  Between chemotherapy rounds, dose up on these vitamins, but stop during treatment.

Lots of things the doctor never tells you -- which may not help, but good golly -- give me every chance I can get.  

Every oncologist, neuro-oncologist in this country needs to read this book and give their "terminal" patients every chance they can get with brain cancer/metastasis -- along with standard treatment.  WE KNOW for example that brain cancer/metastasis is terminal.  The odds of a cure from standard treatment (surgery, chemo, radiation) are 0%.  The odds of more time with standard treatment are higher.  If melatonin for example, doubled survival time for patients with a variety of cancers in a lab study in Italy, then combined with standard treatment -- we get even more time.  I'll take one year over six months.  And melatonin is FAR LESS TOXIC that the drugs associated with standard treatment!  The doctors can help us here -- they choose not to.  

I could go on and on and I apologize.  How sad!

steph in long beach
Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2013

i always hav at least a page or two of questions each time we go.those are just any little thing that crosses my mind between apts.they take time to anser all,but offer nothing.what happens with all the things i dont know to ask?do they tell everyone 6-12 months to live just to cover their ass?i really wish i had some kinda control with this.

or if i even had any answers for my kids 1000s of questions about what will happen to gma.im getting off track,i only ment to say thanks

steph in long beach
Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2013

just wondering if anyone else has no side effects from chemo

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