• What to expect with brain radiation?

    Asked by fulto11 on Saturday, December 31, 2011

    What to expect with brain radiation?

    My husband is beating small cell lung cancer. Last visit it was just thrown at
    us that he will most likely have a couple of treatments of brain radiation as a prevention. Also said it would cause memory loss and dimentia. We will have sit down and read PET scan on Jan. 20th. Blew us off and said would talk about it after the PET scan. I have had a knot in my stomach since. Anyone have any detail on this procedure? Please educate and enlighten me! Is this standard follow up?

    3 Answers from the Community

    • RuthAnne's Avatar

      Ugh. I have non-small cell lung cancer and have had to undergo gamma knife radiation for two brain tumors. I'm guessing from the side effects that you mention, that they're talking about doing whole brain radiation. Although I've heard that this is used for large tumors or many tumors, I've never heard of it used as a preventative measure. I would think that if he has a brain MRI regularly, this would catch any tumors in time to use gamma knife which has few to no side effects. If I were in your shoes, I would definitely look for a second opinion on this one.

      almost 5 years ago
    • shineon6's Avatar

      I have recently been diagnosised with small cell, they believe it was all removed with the tumor, but pathology held a surprise.
      I have just started chemo and radiation of the bronchials. I will then have the radiation of the brain after I recover from this. Dementia is a possible side effect, not for everyone. I have talked to two radiologists at two different hospitals. Small cell grows so quickly these preventative measures need to be done. Good luck with your decision making! It is a tough one!

      almost 5 years ago
    • wequinn's Avatar

      My mother had WBR and finished 13 weeks of treatment in August 2012, very aggressive treatment plan, she went twice a day for the radiation. She had almost 2 years of a high quality of life, went back to work November 2012 and worked until January 2014. Started noticing memory problems about September 2013 and her health quickly deteriorated; no longer walks and has dementia from the treatment. There are not any regrets considering the quality of life she was able to lead-- lived alone, work, drove, and other routine day living activities. I understand that more than 50% of WBR patients will develop dementia within 2-3 years after therapy is completed. Blessing to you and your family

      over 2 years ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy

    Read and answer more small cell, lung cancer questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Small Cell, Lung Cancer page.