• Can anyone tell me what the side effects are like on whole brain radiation?

    Asked by Sandy7099 on Friday, March 8, 2013

    Can anyone tell me what the side effects are like on whole brain radiation?

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • CAS1's Avatar

      If you are planning WBR I would suggest a second opinion since pinpoint radiation has had very good success in the brain with fewer side effects

      over 3 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      Just like most treatments, the side effects are very individualistic to the person. Some patients experience some cognitive dysfunction whereas some only experience fatigue. I can tell you that while CAS1 is correct in that pinpoint or SRS radiotherapy is successful, it might not be for you because of the size of the lesion(s). A perfect candidate for SRS (Steriotactic Radio Surgery) to the brain would be a tumor burden that is 2.5 cm (about 1 inch) or less and kind of spherical, like a ball. The tumor can't be touching a vital or sensitive nerve like the optic or hearing nerve. It should not be entwined with any vascular structures either. These are the issues that are considered when choosing which type is best for you. I work in oncology, and I have seen patients run the gamut when it comes to the side effects. Some patients, don't have anything to speak of when discussing the side effects. Of course, I am confident they will go over the risks with you. If this is what is suggested to you, I wish you all the best, Carm RN.

      over 3 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      WBR should be your last resort. Its true that the size matters but the number of lesions do not.

      Very important you consider all choices before doing this as there are a potential number of permanent side effects.

      Make sure you are seeing a TOP class Lung cancer interventional radiologist.

      over 3 years ago
    • MRoadrunner's Avatar

      Hi Sandy7099, I had 15 treatments of prophylactic brain radiation. The side effects and severity can vary from person to person and can often persist for several weeks after treatment.. The big one with me is fatigue; I have been out of treatment for 3 weeks... anorexia (loss of appetite), taste changes, vertigo (dizziness). I did have hair loss & brain burning/blistering of the scalp for which they gave me lidocaine cream to ease the burning, also mild headaches during treatment, If there were any others, they were very mild or I don't remember what they were. I am currently having eye problems (swelling, floaters & flashing lights but they're not sure if it's caused by the radiation.

      over 3 years ago
    • Sandy7099's Avatar

      My husband has been battling cancer for 7 years now. It has gone to his brain 2 times already and we were able to do the pin point as you talked about. However last week MRI shows that the cancer is now spreading up the base of his brain on the outside of it. We are heading back down to MGH to talk about WBR. I just wanted to know really has anybody live long after this? Years or months?

      over 3 years ago

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