Brain metastases are a disease process whereby abnormal brain tissue develops in areas beyond the normal boundaries of the brain, often extending into the central nervous system (CNS) or even to the spinal cord. Brain cancer can also cause brain metastases. Brain cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer affecting humans, and brain metastases are extremely difficult to detect, as the cancer may spread only over a wide area of the brain, without causing any damage in the central nervous system. Since brain cancer is one of the least common forms of cancer, many people with brain cancer do not show any symptoms or are diagnosed with an illness unrelated to the brain. When brain metastases are suspected, they must undergo an extensive medical examination to establish their exact location in the brain, along with the likelihood of spreading to other areas of the body.
Brain cancer accounts for five percent of all cancers in the brain, and it accounts for nearly a tenth of all cancer deaths in the United States. Cancer of the brain is one of the most difficult kinds of cancer to treat because brain cancer is often resistant to traditional treatments. There are very few new drugs or treatments available to fight brain cancer. The majority of existing drugs have both some effect in the brain and on cancerous cells that have spread to other areas of the body. Therefore, there is a poor prognosis for people with brain metastases, and the outlook for an improved prognosis remains dim.
Most people with brain metastases live past five years, but the average survival time after diagnosis is about three years. If you have brain cancer, your doctors will most likely recommend that you undergo whole brain radiation therapy, which involves the use of high-powered X-rays. This treatment can give your brain the maximum boost it needs to fight off the cancer. Unfortunately, the standard treatment for brain cancer does not look very good at predicting how long someone will live if the disease is left untreated.
Because brain metastases are not caused by the spread of cancer to other areas of the body, it is unlikely that they will increase the risk of a secondary type of cancer called secondary brain metastases. These secondary cancers are caused by the fact that the cancer has spread from another part of the body to the brain, increasing the severity and frequency of symptoms. Since the cancer cells in the brain have a difficult time spreading from their site of origin, they tend to remain localized. Therefore, if you have brain metastases, the symptoms will probably be very similar to those of primary brain cancer, although they may also be more severe.
Although treatment with high-powered X-rays might provide some additional benefit in the form of some shrinking of the bulk of the cancerous tumor, treatment with high-powered X-rays alone will not be able to guarantee that the cancer will not return. Since a majority of brain metastases are not caused by spreading from other parts of the body, whole brain radiation therapy will have little or no effect on these brain tumors. In addition, whole brain radiation therapy usually carries an extremely high cost, making it an unnecessary surgery for the patient. Chemotherapy may be used as an additional treatment option to fight brain metastases, but this must be done under the care of a physician because it has a very high potential for complications.
Even with high-powered X-ray therapy, the success rate for treating brain metastases is quite low. This is because the majority of these cancer cells are not very resistant to heat. Therefore, once the cancer cells have spread, it is only a matter of time before they become resistant to conventional chemotherapy. If you are currently being treated for cancer with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, I would highly recommend that you ask your oncologist about a natural cure for brain cancer. It is often much more effective and safer than the treatments being offered currently.