New here-Mom with NSCLC adenocarcinoma mets to brain, lymph,adrenal - 1264464

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New here-Mom with NSCLC adenocarcinoma mets to brain, lymph,adrenal - 1264464

Hello, first timer here. Have been reading your site for weeks gaining knowledge, thank you.

My mom, 68, was having dementia symptoms and couldn't read anymore, and after them thinking she had a stroke for a few weeks, eventually got an MRI that resulted in correct dx. Was hospitalized and steroids immediately helped with the brain swelling and her symptoms went away. In addition to above mentioned mets, they also see probable ovarian cancer in her one remaining ovary, but are not going to do anything about it as they think it's a separate primary cancer that ultimately won't matter in the end? She was given 2-6 weeks if took no treatment at all. She agreed to the 10 trtmts of WBR, and did fine with it. Has now been weaned completely off the steroids, and is about to have 3rd chemo treatment. Although they have given a prognosis of 3-4 months (which would mean she only has 1-2 months left), she is feeling good except that she now sleeps quite a lot.

My question is that she has had urinary incontinence and has to wear diapers since shortly after her hospitalization. She just had a new CT of chest,abdomen,pelvis but we don't have the results yet. I have read where many patients have PET scans and bone scans and her doctors have not mentioned having either of those. They are doing a second brain MRI in two weeks. Would the CT or MRI show if it spread into her spine? If not, would it be normal for her to inquire about these tests since she is now incontinent, or is this very often just side effects from WBR weakness to lower body (she isn't very sure footed anymore either, almost needs a cane)

By the way, she did have a bone scan in the hospital 2 months ago that showed a small fracture in lower back she didn't know about and has no pain from, but they didn't think it was cancer, just degenerative bone disease.

Thank you,

Dr West
Reply To: New here-Mom with NSCLC adenocarcinoma mets to brain,

I'm sorry to hear of your mother's diagnosis. A CT of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis will really cast a wide net and cover nearly as much ground as a PET scan -- I would think that should be quite fine in this situation, in which the stage is really not a question (it's already known from her brain MRI). As for the urinary incontinence, I think it would be very unlikely to be caused from spinal cord compression if the bone scan just 2 months ago showed no bone metastases then, but the CT scan should really clarify that. I wouldn't anticipate this being from the whole brain radiation, but I suppose it's possible. Otherwise, perhaps there's something else causing problems in her pelvis, such as disease from her ovarian cancer causing reflex emptying of the bladder. I'm just blindly speculating here -- her doctor would have a much better opportunity for an insightful answer.

Good luck.

-Dr. West

Dr. Howard (Jack) West
Associate Clinical Professor
Medical Oncology
City of Hope Cancer Center
Duarte, CA

Founder & President
Global Resource for Advancing
Cancer Education

Reply To: New here-Mom with NSCLC adenocarcinoma mets to brain,

Dr. West,

Thank you so much for your reply.

Scan results unchanged from CT two months ago, which in her case is considered good as nothing got worse. So she continues on with the chemo. They did do a urinalysis for the urinary incontinence but it was negative. It is what it is, whatever the cause of it (disease, ovary, WBR). At this point she's glad to be alive and otherwise doing so well.

Thanks again, much appreciated!