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Astrocytoma Guide

Alison Beaver

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ask: Will having resection for grade 2 astrocytoma in left frontal lobe affect personality, emotional faculties, learning ability or cause regression of intelligence?

By Anonymous
 
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My son had 2 resections to remove grade 2 astrocytoma in 2010. After second resection he began having seizures. Two questions, could these 2 resections affect his personality, emotional faculties and cause him to act more immaturely than before the surgeries? Also, are the seizures considered epilepsy...or reactive to resections.
He had radiation shortly after second surgery, along with chemotherapy. He continues he chemotherapy treatments as of this month.
I guess I also have a third question....can a doctor upgrade to GBM without a further biposy, just based on seizure activity?

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Anonymous

my husband has been diagnosed with astrocytoma grade 3 he has had 2 surgeries since then the last one was june 3rd but the drs told him that he had an infection just dont know where so they did tests n all the tests r negative spinal tap n everything but now he has headaches 3 to 4 times a day n he gets high fevers every day n dont know where to go for help not sure how i got to this site so please send me something to my email if u can just frustrated dont know where to go for help any suggestions would help thank u so much

June 28, 2011 - 10:18pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I do understand your frustration with the diagnosis, the surgeries, etc. and all the uncertainty that goes along with brain tumors. The first that I would do is to keep in close contact with the neurologist and make sure these headaches are not some sort of seizure.
My son now suffers with tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal) in clusters. This is a completely different disease that must be explored and treated.
Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with--how old is your hubby?

June 29, 2011 - 12:40am
Mawt28 (reply to Anonymous)

I am so sorry about your husband....this brain tumor thing is a real roller coaster ride!
So your husband has clonic-tonic seizures also? Did they begin after the brain tumor was discovered and the resections? That is when they began for my son....and they also come in clusters as you described.
I wasn't sure if the seizures were related to the brain tumor or the resections...or both. And because of the seizures if he was now considered epileptic?
Does your husband work? does he drive? Our son is so intent on driving...what are the laws with epileptics and/or brain tumors?

July 12, 2011 - 4:06pm
Alison Beaver

Along the lines of what Maryann said: are you able to get a hard copy of the initial diagnosis, as well as all of the test results to date (at least, if there was a different diagnosis)? It would just help to understand disease progression, and for you to create a timeline of diagnosis, tests, treatments, radiation and symptoms. A woman posted recently about creating a medical/symptom timeline, and I can locate this for you if it would help.

We can help you conduct research, based on specific questions from lab results, while we wait for an expert who may be able to fill in the (information) gaps.

We're here to help you talk with your doctors, and figure this out. You sound very empowered and a great advocate for your son.

April 21, 2011 - 11:43am
Mawt28 (reply to Alison Beaver)

I would appreciate the medical/symptom timeline you are referring to...maybe it would help me make sense of all this.
My husband took our son to the oncologist yesterday.....after 8 rounds of chemo, the oncologist said that while the MRI showed improvement he wanted to continue the chemo (Temodar) an additional 6 months.
Micah is also racked with severe seizures since the second resection and if all this (cancer/seizures) isn't bad enough, he was also diagnosed with Huntingtons Disease when the first biopsy was performed. Huntingtons Disease is a genetic brain disease (my husband, son, sister in law, aunt, and one cousin are living with this disease---others have passed on) which complicates the signs and symptoms of the brain cancer/tumor.

April 23, 2011 - 7:57pm
Alison Beaver (reply to Mawt28)

I am so sorry that he is diagnosed with another condition.

Are you seeking help and support for yourself, as caregivers also need very special love, attention and support in order to be strong for their loved ones. Please let us know if you need any help.

I could not find the specific timeline I was referring to; I will ask the other moderators. In the meantime. this is an excellent Health Information Form that you can use to keep track of medications, symptoms, diagnoses, treatments, tests, etc. Click on the first link (pdf file) at: http://google.ahima.org/search?q=health+information+form&btnG=Search&cli....

April 26, 2011 - 8:18pm
Mawt28 (reply to Alison Beaver)

Thank you for the link...anything like this can be helpful especially since month to month meds and symptoms can change for him. I have called the Neurologist and Oncologist to ask them what each has listed as their tumor grade. I'm still waiting for a return call :( The last series of seizures that Micah had..the neuro. ugraded his tumor from Astrocytoma grade 2 or 3 to GBM, my question is whether this can be done without another biopsy or can it be done based solely on increasing seizure symptoms.
I 'feel' the doctors (neuro and oncol) don't think it is as important to grade the tumor as it is to treat the tumor aggresively. But I feel that the doctors should be on the same page since they work hand in hand with one another to treat Micahs tumor and resulting tumors.
One other thing I would like to ask is - when seizures occur after the resections, is it still considered epilepsy?

April 28, 2011 - 11:08am
Alison Beaver (reply to Mawt28)

Let me see if I can find an oncologist expert that can answer your two questions:
1. My son's tumor was upgraded from Astrocytoma grade 2 or 3 to GBM. Can be done without another biopsy or can it be done based solely on increasing seizure symptoms?

2. When seizures occur after the resections, is it still considered epilepsy?

I will post the expert's response as soon as we we hear back!

April 28, 2011 - 12:13pm
Maryann Gromisch RN Guide

Hi,
I can understand your concerns. The coordination and agreement of treatment between specialists is so important. I was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer in 2007 and have been in active treatment since then, so I truly understand your dilemma. I agree with Alison that your son's physicians are your best resource. You are your son's most valuable advocate. From personal experience, I can say that you need to ask to have the test results explained to you, if the physician does not do so on his or her own. A lack of understanding can lead to fears, anxiety and misconception. Will keep your son and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

April 19, 2011 - 4:35pm
Alison Beaver

Hi,
Thank you for your question. I am so sorry that your son is going through this condition, as well as all of the surgeries and other treatments.

We are in the process of locating an expert to help answer your questions, and will reply with more information as soon as we receive it.

In the meantime, have you been able to review these resources (located at the bottom of the Astrocytoma conditions page): http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/astrocytoma.

Your son's doctor is also a great resource, if you are able to ask him/her these important questions. Do you feel your son's doctor (or nurse) is able to provide you with the time to thoroughly address your questions and concerns?

How is your son doing now? How old is he?

April 19, 2011 - 12:24pm
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