This week, there are 3 sad stories about brain cancer.
The Brain Tumor That Killed Beau Biden http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/31/the-brain-tumor-that-killed-beau-biden.html
- On Saturday, Joseph “Beau” Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden and former attorney general of Delaware, died following a long battle against brain cancer.
- The 46-year-old’s death raises new questions about the disease that killed him—one that’s alarmingly common in adults and chronically misunderstood by the public.
- This past year there were nearly 70,000 new cases and 14,000 deaths from this disease.
- There are many different types (of brain cancer) that occur in adults—each with a unique set of features. Each types carries with it a separate prognosis—ranging from a life expectancy of eight months to non-life threatening.
- Glioblastoma is an aggressive and often fatal tumor, with an estimated 2-year survival rate of around 17 percent for patients between 40 and 65 years old. The underlying cause of GBM is unknown.
- It’s still unclear which specific type of tumor that Biden suffered from, but whether malignant or benign, it’s clear that the treatment to keep it from coming back ultimately failed.
- Treatment options typically include a combination of radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. The goal of surgery is usually to reduce the tumor burden, followed by radiation therapy and certain chemotherapeutics. Chemotherapy may delay the disease course in some cases, but most chemotherapeutic agents for GBM have an extremely low response rate, around 10 percent. The prognosis is not particularly good for any age group.
Brain cancers like Beau Biden’s kill about 15,000 adults each year http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/05/31/brain-cancers-like-beau-bidens-kill-about-15000-adults-each-year/
- A variety of malignant brain and central nervous system tumors kill about 15,000 people in the United States each year, often after difficult courses of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
- Beau Biden was first diagnosed in August 2013 and after surgery, radiation and chemotherapy returned to normal duties in November that year. But his cancer recurred this spring, and he began treatment again at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
- Former Massachusetts senator Edward M. Kennedy died in August 2009, 15 months after he suffered a seizure and was diagnosed with a malignant glioma, the most common form of brain cancer.
- For most incurable brain tumors, the primary challenge is managing the portions of the tumor that are undetectable by diagnostic imaging, These tumor cells are often the source of recurrence, traveling undetected to other brain regions of the patient and then driving the formation of new areas of growth with little warning. Most malignant brain tumors eventually recur.
Beau Biden fought bravely before losing battle with brain cancer; here are the lessons you should learn http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/doctor-lessons-beau-biden-death-article-1.2242753
- Beau Biden had been dealing with health problems since 2010, when he suffered from a stroke.
- Three years later … after he suddenly felt disorientated and weak during a vacation, he was admitted to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Not long after that, he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He underwent surgery and was free of the cancer; however, it returned this spring.
- Biden underwent aggressive treatmentat Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
- We do not know what causes brain cancer. Most brain tumors are not linked to any known risk factors. While there is no proof that radiation causes cancer, we do know that radiation is not good for you. The use of cell phones has long been led to debate about whether they may increase a person’s risk for brain cancer. Current research shows conflicting results. Regardless, it is probably a good idea to limit cell phone use as much as possible or at least use a hands-free headset to reduce your exposure to radiation.
Beau Biden Dies at 46 From Brain Cancer: Why the Disease Is So Hard to Beat https://www.yahoo.com/health/beau-biden-dies-at-46-from-brain-cancer-why-the-120362278807.html
- Details about Biden’s healthprior to his death are scarce. What is known is that he was hospitalized the week up until his death at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and that he did have a small lesion removed from his brain in 2013 at University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, but was given a clean bill of health after the procedure.
- …. brain tumor is known to have a high propensity for returning, even after being successfully removed
- No matter what, almost all the time you’re talking about a kind of tumor that is going to come back and become more resistant to therapies,” Weiss, who specializes in treating adult malignant and benign brain tumors, tells Yahoo Health. “That’s why you hear these patients have a brain tumor, a primary brain tumor, and they’ve been given a clean bill of health. But they’re never really in a position” to have a clean bill of health for the rest of their lives, she says.
Case from Singapore
Someone from Singapore sent me this message:
Dear Doctor Chris,
Thank you for reading this message! I know it is hard for u to make any diagnosis without seeing the patient – but can I just ask before I bring my 32 year old wife over from Singapore if you are able to help her treat Glioblatoma Multiforme Grade 4 brain cancer. She has done surgery to remove 70% of tumor on 28 April and has not started on Chemo/ Radiation. We hope to let her do Immmunotherapy (T cell) before bringing her to u for treatment – do u advise that and know of a reliable hospital/ clinic in Malaysia for recommendation? Please for your kind advice!
Reply: I have bad impression of IT!
Can we seek your treatment for glioblastoma? … can we please seek your help for her glioblastoma?
Reply: Unfortunately … no cure from that ca
Can extend? For how long?
Reply: Can’t say or predict.
Case from Penang
May 30, 2015 at 4:20 PM,
Dear Dr Chris Teo,
My sister is a cancer patient with brain tumors, grade 4, high grade glioblastoma.
Sep 2013- She fainted and was sent to hospital, scan showed she had some bleeding in her brain.
Oct 2013- another scan showed that she had a 3cm big tumor.
She had her tumors removed in Oct 2013 by X of General Hospital Penang due to emergency.
Oct 2014-her tumors grew back and scan report found that there’re 5 tumors.
She had undergone 2 sessions of radiotherapy and 3 sessions of chemotherapy since then.
There is no more chemotherapy for her. Her brain swell every week and had to go for dripping and treat with mannitol.
She has strong will to survive as she has a 4 year old daughter. Please save her. We would like to make an appointment with you to see if there’s any advice from you.
I look forward to your reply. Warm regards.
Reply: I am sorry I cannot save her. Her cancer is very, very difficult.
Dear Dr Chris Teo,
Thank you for your reply.
Although it looks like her condition is very critical but she has very good blood test report, all her other organs are functioning very well.
Other than her speech problem and body coordination due to her brain’s tumors, she has clear mind, strong surviving will, she eats very well and pass motions and urine as normal person.
I just feel that if you’ve any herbs that can help to alleviate the swell and cancer cells in her brain, that would be very helpful.
My mother and her husband are there at your clinic now to seek your opinion. Please at least give them some advice. My mother has been very careful in her diet … It was very surprise to see a glioblastoma cancer patient to survive more than 5 months. My sister has already passed her 1.5 years after diagnosed.
This 29-year-old patient (on wheel chair), her husband and mother came to see us. The following is a letter from her oncologist:
Mdm H is my patient since 2014 with brain cancer, now recurrence with multiple nodules in the brain. This has left her with weakness of her limbs, unsteady gait and double vision. She is therefore dependent and reliant on her carers for mobilising and self-care at home. Her disability is deemed permanent in view of her recurrence of cancer in the brain. She gets agitated and irritated due to her tumour in the brain. Hope you will understand the emotional changes that she is going through due to her illness.
Mdm H underwent surgery on 18 October 2013. This was followed by 30 sessions of radiation and 2 cycles of chemotherapy given as 12 injections. The drug used was Avastin.
By 2 September 2014, H was told that there was NO MORE cancer! Her mother said H was cured!
Unfortunately, about 2 months after this “great news” the cancer came back again. H again underwent chemotherapy. After the 11th injection, the oncologist in a private hospital told her to go and seek further treatment in a government hospital. As far as he is concerned he could not help H anymore.
Over the years, I have come across many cases of brain cancer. Here are some of their stories: