squamous cell, brain met after chemo and radiation - 1245633

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squamous cell, brain met after chemo and radiation - 1245633

My father age 62 was diagnosed with squamus cell lung cancer in July of 2011. He underwent radiation and chemo in the summer of 2011. In January of 2011 we learned the cancer spread. In March we learned it was an isolated tumor in his cerebellum. He had a craniotomy which removed the tumor and then underwent WBRT (10 sessions) which ended May 27, 2012. His steroids were discontinued in early June. About a week later extreme fatigure set in, abdominal pain, severe altered taste, severe nausea. He is not able to tolerate any food and barely holds down what I force on him. He is coughing alot and is not sleeping well. In addition he began urinating blood. We are seeing an urologist on Monday, but I am very concerned about the other problems. Are these normal for what he has been through and can we expect them to resolve. I am worried that these are unrelated problems, though his pet scan in the end of March was clean sans the brain mets and his tumor markers were normal in May.

Dr West
Reply To: squamous cell, brain met after chemo and radiation

I'm very sorry to hear about how ill your father has been recently. It's definitely not normal to not be able to eat. His cough may well be from radiation pneumonitis, which you can read about by doing a search for it on this website (top of the page).

At the same time, it's not rare for people to have worse neurologic symptoms after someone tapers down to a lower dose or off of steroids. Often going back up somewhat on the steroids can help.

I agree that the hematuria (blood in the urine) is likely unrelated: it's hard to envision a way it could be related.

I really couldn't say whether his symptoms will resolve, since it really depends on the cause, which we don't know. It's always worrisome when someone with a diagnosis of cancer is very ill, whether from the cancer, from treatment, or other factors.

-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

certain spring
Reply To: squamous cell, brain met after chemo and radiation

Really sorry to hear about your father - it sounds very tough, for him and for you.
WBR can be incredibly tiring, especially I imagine in someone of your father's age. The fatigue peaks about 4-8 weeks afterwards. So there's a chance that your dad may start to feel less tired soon. However, as Dr West says, it sounds as if there might be several different things going on. Best wishes to you both.