What are the signs that the cancer has moved to the brain?

I am thinking that the cancer has spread to my mothers brain. What are some of the signs to look for? This time every thing seems worse than the first time back in Feb. 09. The pain and worry all of it. Maybe because we know a little more about it now than we did to start with. I don't know. I pray it will not be as bad.

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Hi Debbie, usually headaches are the key and I'd watch for dizziness. Did the doctor say she had mets to the brain? What has she received for treatment since Feb.? I definitely wouldn't listen to any doctor as far as stats go. I just read your first post and I have got to say, I'd tell your sister to grow up. She isn't able to handle the situation other than what she's doing already. I'd also tell your mother not to change anything right now. Have she done a living will? Do you know what she wants and what final arrangements will be? These are all things to discuss now, as hard as it is. I just lost my mother on July 11th. My sister and I were both on her health care and my sister was power of attorney. It didn't matter who was, because we discuss it as a family. My mother didn't have much either and all was decided by the entire family. She did her living will and we followed what she wanted as well as her final arrangements. This to me is as it should be, unless your mother can't do it anymore. Why don't you try reasoning with your sister and tell her you will discuss everything with her, even what bills you pay. I'm sorry, but I can't believe this is even happening with you when your mother is fighting for her life. Forget your sister and take care of your mother. I also have a sister like yours, but my mother came first and she knew it. No one in my family would see it any different. I wish you luck and your mother remission. Stay in touch on this site for support and answers you might need. Take care, JC

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The brain takes care of the whole body. ANY part of the brain can have a mets. ANY part of the body can feel it's affects, so I'm really sorry but it's an "it depends" issue.

Some have headaches, some don't. I didn't really have headaches until that last weekend when I had an intractible headache and a trip to the ER because of it. Before that, I had hurts but not there.

I knew something was going on with the brain because of intermittent dizziness/shakes/balance and confusion. That was me. My doctor felt because it was intermittent it wasn't a tumor. The tests were actually negative. Again, that was me, and a tumor near the surface (below the cranium of course). I kept going left. My tumor was on the right, in the middle but on the right.

There is no cure for "perpetually overwhelmed" aside from good support, good therapist, good ice cream.

If your mother is concerned (being stressed WILL cause the same symptoms) and she hasn't been tested before, insisting on an MRI of the brain is not out of order.

Take it easy, make sure there is "you" time both for yourself AND your mother. It's oh, so important.

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Hi Debbie,
My mom had SCLC that spread to brain. Her symptoms were dizziness and balance issues. This may sound strange, but she also was very weepy and emotional just before the dx of brain mets. Anyway, she had symptoms for several weeks before her dr. ordered the MRI. My thought was, if SCLC is known to spread to brain, why not do the MRI as soon as symptoms appear? Probably an insurance issue, but I'd ask for one nonetheless if you think she is having symptoms. There are radiation treatments that can help with brain mets, as well as steroids to control the swelling.
Good luck and God bless.

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thank you all for your response. We had the dr appt. yesterday and they will do a brain MRI before she starts her new chemo on Monday.

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well she is now having a lot of nausea. And her MRI is not until Friday. How fast does it grow in the brain?

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my Dad has brain mets and has balance issues and headaches, the best thing to do is wait for the MRI results....I too wonder how fast it can grow but don't think anyone can tell us that, last week he also had some nausea/vomiting...but there are so many things that could have caused it so who knows....

hang in there! Your Mom is in my prayers!


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My mother had been having severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, and very little balance issues. The vomiting almost always happened immediately after standing up, I guess from the pressure that the tumor was putting on her brain when she stood. All of these symptoms happened because the tumor was slightly blocking the channel where the CSF flows so I am not sure if she would have experienced all these severe symptoms if this particular tumor had not been located there.

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