Brain Metastasis

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Brain metastasis is cancer that has spread within your brain or spreads from your body to your brain. Some examples are lung, breast, skin, and colon cancer. One or more tumors form in your brain.

AFTER YOU LEAVE:

Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or oncologist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits. Caregivers may suggest imaging tests, such MRI or PET scans, every 3 months. The imaging tests help check for new or returning tumors. Work with your caregivers to create a plan for follow-up care that is right for you.

Medicines:

  • Steroids: This medicine helps reduce swelling in the head and body.

  • Anticonvulsant medicine: This medicine helps decrease or stop seizures.

  • Anticoagulants are a type of blood thinner medicine that helps prevent clots. Clots can cause strokes, heart attacks, and death. These medicines may cause you to bleed or bruise more easily.

    • Watch for bleeding from your gums or nose. Watch for blood in your urine and bowel movements. Use a soft washcloth and a soft toothbrush. If you shave, use an electric razor. Avoid activities that can cause bruising or bleeding.

    • Tell your caregiver about all medicines you take because many medicines cannot be used with anticoagulants. Do not start or stop any medicines unless your caregiver tells you to. Tell your dentist and other caregivers that you take anticoagulants. Wear a bracelet or necklace that says you take this medicine.

    • You will need regular blood tests so your caregiver can decide how much medicine you need. Take anticoagulants exactly as directed. Tell your caregiver right away if you forget to take the medicine, or if you take too much.

    • If you take warfarin, some foods can change how your blood clots. Do not make major changes to your diet while you take warfarin. Warfarin works best when you eat about the same amount of vitamin K every day. Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables, broccoli, grapes, and other foods. Ask for more information about what to eat when you take warfarin.

  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Manage the effects of brain metastasis:

  • Avoid infections: Cancer treatments make it easier to get infections. Wash your hands often with soap and water. Carry germ-killing gel with you in case you do not have access to soap and water. Try to avoid people who have a cold or the flu.

  • Stay safe: Cancer treatments can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help. Ask your primary healthcare provider if it is safe for you to drive.

  • Seek support from caregivers: The disease can change the way you act, think, and feel. Your memory, concentration, and ability to learn may decline. You may act without thinking or become more emotional. These changes can be very upsetting for you and your family. Talk to your primary healthcare provider about these changes and ask about continuing care, treatments, and home services. Go to all follow-up appointments.

For support and more information:

  • American Brain Tumor Association
    8550 West Bryn Mawr Avenue, Suite 550
    Chicago , IL 60631
    Phone: 1- 800 - 886-2282
    Web Address: http://www.abta.org

Contact your primary healthcare provider if:

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • New headaches develop or get worse.

  • You have new problems walking or moving one side of your body.

  • Body swelling develops or gets worse.

  • You have a seizure.

  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.

  • You suddenly feel lightheaded and have trouble breathing.

  • You have new and sudden chest pain. You may have more pain when you take deep breaths or cough. You may cough up blood.

  • You have chest pain or trouble breathing that is getting worse over time.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Brain Metastasis (Discharge Care)

Hide
(web3)