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Dr. David
Dr. David, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 45977
Experience:  Board Certified Physician
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My sister has been diagnosed with small cell lung cancer with

Customer Question

My sister has been diagnosed with small cell lung cancer with two tumours in the brain. What is the prognosis please.
Peter Fowler
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. David replied 3 years ago.

Dr. David :

This is Dr. David

Dr. David :

I am sorry about your sister.

Dr. David :

the prognosis is very serious and dire for patients who have metastatic small cell cancer spread to the brain.

Dr. David :

her cancer can be treated and slowed down.

Dr. David :

with radiation therapy to the brain

Dr. David :

and with systemic IV chemotherapy to fight the small cell cancer in the rest of her body.

Dr. David :

but when the small cell cancer has spread to the brain, it is no longer a curable cancer.

Dr. David :

has she consulted with a radiation oncology doctor? about radiation therapy to the brain?

Dr. David :

she also needs a course of dexamethasone steroid therapy to help decrease brain swelling from the cancer.

Dr. David :

let me know if you have other questions.

Customer: She has seen a lung specialist. She is only on chemo for the lung tumour .no question about radiotherapy to the brain. Would I be correct in saying she has only a year maximum left, if less?
Customer: She is on the steroid you mensioned
Dr. David :

it is impossible to predict length of time for survival

Dr. David :

patients with brain metastasis in a group have on average a year survival rate.

Dr. David :

but that means 1/2 of the patients live longer than 1 year

Dr. David :

and about 1/2 of them live less than 1 year.

Dr. David :

usually it is 1 year with whole brain radiation therapy.

Dr. David :

chemotherapy does not get into the brain because of the blood brain barrier.

Dr. David :

she should ask her cancer doctor to be referred to radiation oncology to talk about radiation to the brain to shrink the metastasis in the brain.

Customer: That is what I thoughts she goes into trances which can last 15-20 minutes. She has no chest problems
Dr. David :

I see.

Dr. David :

I hope the cancer in the brain is not growing

Dr. David :

try to go with her to her next oncology doctor appointment

Dr. David :

and ask about radiation to the brain.

Dr. David :

best of luck to you and her .

Dr. David :

let me know if you have other questions.

Customer: OK I'll speak to her husband about radiotherapy on the brain
Customer: thank you
Dr. David :

you are welcome

Dr. David :

please leave positive feedback below when done

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