Slurred speech and swallowing problems

As if my dad did not have enough problems as it is, he suddenly started to have slurred speech and swallowing problems. His doctor said it is because he is so tired but i somehow don't believe him. Is it because of a brain met? Have you seen this problem before? And if you have, does it get better or worse in time?

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If it's a brain met, it needs to be treated depending on where it is. I would ask his doctor for a scan for MRI to check for any. Is he getting radiation? This could cause the swallowing problem and possibley slurred speech. But if it were me, I'd want it checked out further. Good luck and take care, JC

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I always have to put myself in the other person's place and ask myself what I would do if I suddenly developed swallowing problems and slurred speech. I would insist upon an MRI and I would also go to an ENT and have a fiberoptic scope of the throat. I don't know how many problems a brain met can cause, but I'd have each problem individually investigated. That's just my opinion. I refuse to guess what could be wrong since we are dealing with cancer.
Charlene

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I totally agree with you both. I really find the doctor's attitude strange. When i asked him if we could check it with an MRI he said that we shouldn't do anything on that day because my dad had a big problem of short breath and the doctor didn't want to move him at all. But in the next few days he still did not order for an MRI. We kept asking him about the problem and he avoided to give a straight answer to us. I asked about radiotherapy or radiosurgery and he just said that these are conducted in another town and that we would have to take him there 5 days a week, for two weeks, to complete the treatment for a possible brain met.(As if i would mind taking my dad to the Moon if i had to). You know, i just think that the doctor has given up on my dad. He only gives him less than a month to live. I suppose he believes that any kind of treatment right now, is useless. This is the bitter truth...

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Have the Drs considered the possibility of it being a stroke- depending on what other health issues your dad has- like hypertension etc- with an added strain to the body- this is much more likely. I would definitely ask the dr to review- Im not sure why he would say something like this is due to tiredness- that would make no sense at all.
Look out for other signs like weakness on that side of the body or drooping of the face. Also if he has developed swallowing problems- that seriously needs some input- otherwise he could easily choke on his food- or aspirate- causing pneumonia!!! Last thing you need right now!! He might need a special diet till his swallow improves!!!
Wishing you all the best!
Sal

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There is always hope if their is faith and belief. The doctor's attitude sometimes shows no hope which is wrong. The slurred speech can also be from inflamation of the cancer cells whether after radiation or chemo pressing and affecting a nerve that controls the speech. Can have it checked out by a Neurologist and a speech pathologist. Swallowing problems can also be from the effects of radiotherapy and chemo as the throat can become very sensitive and he should not have hot or spicy drinks or food until this repairs.

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Do not be alarmed right away even though it is tough not to. I would monitor it but definitely request a brain scan. My mom had the same problems a few weeks ago and unfortunately she did have a brain met. Just 1 met, so we caught it early and she began radiation on the brain yesterday. Always remember you cannot treat what you don't know.

Joe-

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I'm afraid I'd have to find another doctor or just insist this doctor orders an MRI whether he likes it or not. A doctor works for his patient. He works for your dad. He was hired to do a job, just like you hire and pay anyone else who works for you. His job is to help your dad in any way he can. It sounds like the doctor has given up on your dad, and you don't need a doctor who has given up. These oncologists lose patients every day and they get hardened to it. It's your dad, not his. Are they special friends? If not your dad is just another cancer patient to the doctor. He says he's done everything he can do, but he hasn't. You have the right to demand what you feel your dad needs, and if you think your dad needs to have an MRI, the doctor should order it. If he won't, find someone who will. I always have an open MRI because I can't handle a closed MRI. Maybe that would be best for your dad if he's short of breath. He could also have pressure on his windpipe for some reason that needs to be explored. You need to know what's wrong because maybe something can be done to help him. Taking him for treatment is not a problem as long as you use a targeted radiation that has minimal side effects. It sounds like he is too sick for chemo. The doctor has told you your dad may not make it, and you have to be prepared for that, but at least you'll know you did everything within your power to help him, and you fought for his right to live to the end.

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I slurred while going through treatment. I didnt have brain mets. I was also almost child like when I talked. It was very difficult to say what i wanted. It lasted a little while. and when i got really sick and was hospitalized for the 2nd time it happened again. They even thought I could have been having TIAs. but instead it was the combo of chemos i was on and radiation treatment having had rad and chemo during the same time. Every one is different. Just like a snowflake:no two patients are alike on how they respond to treatment or the side effects that can happen.
gl
robin

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Actually, all of your assumptions have crossed my mind: The stroke, chemo or medication side effects. (He had no radiation treatment so far). Thank you Joe and Robin for sharing your own personal experiences on the subject.
Those were my thoughts exactly until I spoke with the doctor again today. He said:
"I believe that you are torturing yourself more than you should about what you've done for your dad and whether it was right or wrong. His prognosis would not have changed anyway. His disease is both advanced and aggressive.Your dad probably has brain mets as well. This does not change his prognosis in any way. His disease is so advanced that nothing more can be done. We did what was best for him. I even did chemo on him and I shouldn't have in his condition. On this grounds, why should he do an MRI? Why should we just diagnose since we cannot give treatment anymore? Believe me, I feel so bad when I have to tell people that i cannot help them anymore".
And you know another bitter truth? He is probably right. My dad cannot breath right even after all fluid was drained out of his lungs and all of simple movements that the rest of us do so easily, he does them in great difficulty. He cannot even stand on his feet. Cancer has broken him so badly...It's taking away everything. His body, his strength, his sanity, his dignity. What's left than to just die in body as well?

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I'm so sorry to hear this. I went through the same thing with my father. I know you did all you could. Sometimes cancer wins and all we can do is accept the reality of the situation. There always comes that time we have to acknowledge that it was never under our control but always in the hands of the Lord. God Bless
Charlene

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My father has slurred speech and swallowing problems and that's due to the tumor (metastasis in the upper chest) pressing on his vocal cords nerves and esophagus. His swallowing troubles have improved during chemo, but he's speech is still very hoarse and has been so for about 6 months. I guess it needs to be trained up again?

http://www.youtube.com/user/isselstreatment#p/u/24/mivlROS0cy4

http://www.survivingsmallcell.com/

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