Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Brain metastasis is the condition wherein the cancer originated in the extracranial region and spread to the brain. The symptoms include vision problems, difficulty breathing, swallowing difficulty, seizures and mild to moderate seizure. Unfortunately, the prognosis of brain metastasis is poor. Various methods are adopted to help coping the patient with these symptoms and treatment.

How To Cope With Brain Metastases?

Diagnosing with brain tumor is a scary event due to poor prognosis. Brain metastasis is even more worrisome due to the fact that there is cancer in another organ of the body which is at such an advanced stage that it has spread to the brain. Thus, the patients, of course with the proper care and help learn to cope up with the condition. Following are the different measures through which a patient with brain metastases copes with the condition:

Coping With Seizures. Seizures are caused due to a normal electrical impulse occurring in the brain. The brain tumor may cause epilepsy. The patient can cope with seizures by taking anti.epileptic drugs. The patient should keep a track on the occurrence and frequency of the seizures and share the information to the doctor. This information helps the healthcare professional in prescribing appropriate medicine or dose.

Coping With Stress. The patient has to undergo severe stress and anxiety during the treatment and this lead to increase the complexity. The stress can be managed by taking antianxiety or anxiolytic drugs. Further, the stress can also be managed by providing counseling to the patient. Further, if the other symptoms of the brain metastases are effectively managed, the patient may feel relieved.

Coping With Personality Changes. Along with the anatomical and physiological changes initiated by the tumor, the person has to cope with various emotional changes such as depression, irritation, anger and confusion. These changes affect the quality of life and should be properly managed. Most of the personality changes can be treated with medications, some requires counseling, and some are dealt through emotional support.

Coping With Cognitive Decline. The symptom associated with brain tumor includes cognitive decline such as poor concentration, memory problem, communication problem and mood swings. Dementia and poor concentration drastically reduce the quality of life and faded communication drags the patient in isolation. These conditions may be managed through medication and cognitive counseling.

Coping With Headache. The tumor grows inside the brain and exerts pressure on the surrounding brain tissues. Further, the tumor may also compress the nerves inside the brain. This may lead to moderate to severe pain. Edema may also be the reason for headache. The headache can be managed by medications such as pain killers and steroids. Further, some headaches are associated with nausea and vomiting. These symptoms can be managed with anti.emetic drugs.

Cognitive Rehabilitation. Brain tumor has devastated affect on the physical, mental and emotional health of the patient. Thus, an all.around program should be developed that helps the patient to recover the physical as well as mental health. Cognitive rehabilitation helps the patient to cope with the effect of brain metastases. This includes the compensation strategies which are used to make up the lost ability. Further, various other management techniques are advised such as anger management.

Patient Care. Apart from the medication and counseling, the patient requires solid emotional support which can only be provided by the family members and close friends. These people should understand the condition of the patient and provide with him the required care. The people around the patient should adopt a positive attitude and try to calm the person as much as possible. The family members and friends should help the patient enjoying his life and every attempt should be made to feel him stress.free.

Conclusion

Diagnosed with brain tumor and brain metastasis is frightening due increased risk of fatality. The symptoms are so severe that the patient’s physical, mental and emotional health crumbles. Medication, proper counseling and family support is required to help patient cope with brain metastases.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: January 9, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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