Brain Tumors; Lung Cancer; Psychiatric
Posted in the Bellingham Forum
#1 Feb 29, 2012
Doctors in CA said I had lesions on brain/spinal cord (2007); maybe the "slowly enlarging" lung nodule metastisized from brain? My sister had a brain tumor removed about a year ago in seattle. But wonder if I may have brain cancer or tumor and if that is causing neuro-psychiatric manifestations instead of (or in addition to) chronic encephalopathy (tick bite/EM rash/Lyme diagnosis/doxy antibiotic--2002).
CNS Spectr. 2006 Jan;11(1):28-31.
Psychiatric symptoms associated with brain tumors: a clinical enigma.
Moise D, Madhusoodanan S.
SourceDepartment of Psychiatry, Palmerston North Hospital, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
Patients in psychiatric settings may present with medical conditions, such as brain tumors, which may or may not be associated with neurological symptoms. In some cases, patients may only have psychiatric symptoms, such as mood changes (depression or mania), psychotic symptoms, panic attacks, changes in personality, or memory difficulties. Brain tumors may be detected in patients at their first presentation to mental health services or sometimes in patients with well-established psychiatric diagnoses. This article presents the case of a 29-year-old woman who was treated for >4 years for posttraumatic stress disorder and borderline personality traits, who developed depressive symptoms and memory difficulties. However, she did not develop any major neurological signs or symptoms. Brain imaging showed the presence of a left thalamic tumor, later confirmed as glioblastoma multiforme. She underwent surgical treatment and radiation therapy. With this we show that in some cases, brain tumors can be neurologically silent and only present atypical psychiatric symptoms. We emphasize the need for neuroimaging studies in a patient with atypical changes in mental status, even without neurological signs or symptoms.
#2 Feb 29, 2012
It seems like NIH links could be (relatively) trusted, but you never know if paid consultants are involved (people paid to deliberately write things with a hidden motive). Such as the above link recommending diagnostic testing. Maybe the abstract is an advertisement for diagnostic centers. But posted it simply to show there is much that coems up in relation to brain lesions and tumors causing psychiatric symptoms.
#3 Feb 29, 2012
Okay, yeah, the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) addresses that on their page:
"Some types of brain scans pose health risks due to the radiation they use to create a picture of the brain. Because of these risks, brain scans should not be used if you don't need them. In addition, these scans are very expensive, and unless your doctor prescribes such a test, they may not be fully covered by health insurance."
#4 Feb 29, 2012
Interesting...compare this quote from the NIH abstract (above):
"We emphasize the need for neuroimaging studies in a patient with atypical changes in mental status, even without neurological signs or symptoms."
w/the NIMH quote just posted:
"Some types of brain scans pose health risks due to the radiation they use to create a picture of the brain. Because of these risks, brain scans should not be used if you don't need them..."
#5 Feb 29, 2012
Some of the symptoms that suggest lung cancer may have spread to the brain include:
Loss of balance
Nausea and vomiting
Loss of coordination
Vision changes, such as loss of vision or double vision
Weakness on one side of the body
I've had those relapsing/remitting. A multitude of brain symptoms. Very significant pressure in skull at times directly related to irritability; pressure in skull (intracranial pressure?) when smiling or laughing for anywhere from 3-5 minutes and longer--as if related to blood flow or neurotransmitters (?) or something. Vertigo--extreme incidents have been experienced--most extreme involved waking up when staying at my brothers house in Anchorage in 2008 and watching what appeared to be the room spinning around and around; out of body hallucinations of sensory experiences, etc.
#6 Feb 29, 2012
Wondering about all this since the PET scan/VATS/resection of lung indicated many months ago by pulmonologist. If brain cancer as well, then VATS surgery would not be in order? Would PET scan show brain cancer, or is that clinically diagnosed (or does it require brain biopsy)?
Nobody to talk to about this but since lung symptoms worsening it would help to find out for decision making.
Since: Feb 12
#7 Feb 29, 2012
We emphasize the need for neuroimaging studies in a patient with atypical changes in mental status, even without neurological signs or symptoms.
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#8 Feb 29, 2012
Diagnosis of Lung Cancer Spread to the Brain
If your doctor suspects that your lung cancer has spread to your brain, she may order a CT scan or an MRI of your head. In many cases, an MRI is more accurate in looking for brain metastases, but may not be possible if devices (such as pacemakers) are present in your body that could interfere with the magnetic field.
PET scans, a type of radiological study that looks for actively growing cancer cells, may be done to decide if a suspicious area in the brain is due to cancer or scar tissue. Sometimes a biopsy is done to look at the cells present in the brain, especially if it is uncertain where the cancer began.
The brain aspect was not mentioned by the pulmonologist when referring me for PET scan. Uncertain the referral would have included PET scan of brain. But if it's already metastasized one way or the other--brain to lung or lung to brain--then VATS resection would not be in order (?).
But wild guess--brain stem; have had stiff neck, positive Babinski Sign (that shows spinal cord involvement--due to either inflammation or trauma; Babinski Sign is when toes fan out as foot goes into a painful cramp/spasm--get that almost every other day now--used to be less often), etc., ever since 2002.
#9 Mar 3, 2012
Just noticed "sophylee" comment (#7). It appears to be making light of the subject. Unfortunately, anonymous chat forums provide opportunity for vile behaviour that ordinarily would be socially unacceptable.
A woman WTA bus driver about a year or two ago shared with me that she too had positive Babinski sign. I told her I'd read up on it and it can be due to physical trauma of the brain/spinal cord or ongoing inflammatory disease of the brain/spinal cord. The driver replied she'd been involved in a car accident, so maybe physical trauma to the spinal cord was the reason. She was appreciative of the information. Months later, that driver was diagnosed with a melanoma tumor on her face. I haven't seen nor heard of her in quite some time. Hope she is doing okay.
But the mocking post (#7) is indicative of the hatred I've been experiencing for some time now. Homeless and trying to deal with lung cancer is challlenging enough (granted, many may have it much worse what with family responsibilities on top of adversity, etc.), but the ongoing persecution and harassment (and isolation incurred)along with it has discouraged me to the point of deliberately evading reality and seeking solace in fantasy (listening to YouTube music videos too often as one example). Thus compounding the struggle with ongoing neuro-psychiatric difficulties as well.
#10 Mar 3, 2012
Psychological harassment: This is humiliating, intimidating or abusive behaviour which is often difficult to detect leaving no evidence other than victim reports or complaints; this characteristically lowers a personís self-esteem or causes them torment. This can take the form of verbal comments, engineered episodes of intimidation, aggressive actions or repeated gestures.(Wiki)
I've been experiencing that for quite some time now. AA members? Feminists attacking a vulnerable male for attempting to be Christian (patriarchal religion)? For-profit healthcare/marijuana legalization/libertarian's? Etc., etc.?
Hard to say but it has really harmed me over time, but that and this lung cancer has really got me discouraged in being able to cope with reality. Cut off from Christian fellowship by malicious gossip and slander, I'm not living well alone as a Christian. Constantly looking to the world to bring relief from the unhappiness. I wonder how many people persecuted find their character worsens as a result, which of course only compounds the problem. I've most always had trouble finding willingness to place God first and foremost in my life even before experiencing systematic persecution. But the persecution carries its effect in moving me further away from God (seemingly or actually).
#11 Mar 4, 2012
Gave the last post further thought. Similar to young social outcasts that internalize hatred, neglect, rejection--they often tend to gravitate towards other outcasts and form fantasy card games or lose themselves in playing video games. It's all motivated by sedating the hurt;attempting to assauge the pain through escapism.
The problem is, that only harms the individual further.
I've always thought I identified most with Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, but viewed the 1930 b/w film (at WWU) again recently (for about the fourth time), and actually identified most with Fantine. When she is experiencing abuse, neglect, exploitation (from the Thenardier's and others). You really feel how life is simply overwhelming her to the point of death. It's only the mercifulness of Jean Valjean that brings her respite (promising to care for Cosette) before she finally dies.
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