STAGE 4 WHOLE BRAIN CANCER 4
Stage4 Whole Brain Cancer
Canceris documented as one of the most deadly diseases. All together, allthe stages of cancer add up to five and stage 4 constitutes the laststage. In this assignment, stage 4 whole brain cancer will bediscussed. Of interest in the paper would be simulation, treatment,follow up plan, and psychological issues.
Simulationentails the planning of the radiation process so as to ensure thatthe patient will receive full merits of radiation with minimalinterference with the rest of the body. The simulation process willbe initiated by a patient visiting a physician. During this initialvisit, the physician will have the role of reviewing the patient’sillness history as well as performing a physical examination. At thistime, the physician may also make consultation with the treatmentteam of the patient. After the patient and physician decide on thecourse of the treatment to be followed, treatment planning commences.It is at this stage that a radiation oncologist will simulate thepatient’s radiation therapy treatment using a computed tomography(CT) scan. During simulation, the patient will be required to lie onthe treatment table, but no radiation therapy will occur. Animmobilization mask will be made during this period for holding thepatient’s head at the same position. The immobilization devicesused are different some look like a foam box shaped in order to fitthe patient’s form, while others have the look of a cradle.
Aday or two following the simulation process, the actual radiationtherapy commences. During this process, the patient will be requiredto lie on the treatment table without making any movement. Then, aradiation technologist will be involved in administering thetreatment as prescribed by the radiation oncologist. In this case,the treatment only lasts for a few minutes per treatment. Radiationtreatments are usually administered daily for 4-6 weeks. In case thepatient is required to undergo stereotactic radiosurgery, he/she maybe required to put on a rigid head frame. MRI or CT scan can be usedin helping the physician identify the exact locations of tumors,while a computer will help in regulating the dose of radiationrequired. In this case, a patient would receive a range of 45-60Grays of radiation, which translates to a dosage of 10-11 Grays in aweek. Also, during this phase, different images can be taken on thetreatment machine so as to guarantee patient’s alignment. In orderto protect the skin, patients are usually advised to apply sunscreenon their skin, avoid sun, and not to apply anything else to the skinin the treatment area. Besides, patients are advised to consume foodsrich in high protein and calories in order to maintain their weight.
Aftercompleting the recommended treatments, follow up phase is entered.During this period, a patient is required to visit a neuro-oncologistafter every 2-4 months. During this phase, symptoms of the patients,physical conditions, and medications are reviewed. Besides, asurveillance of CT or MRI is also considered. The follow ups arecritical to ensure brain tumors do not re-grow.
Differentissues may emerge related to the radiation treatment and the futureof patients. It is important for physicians to consider providingcounseling sessions prior to carrying out the radiation therapy.Patients need to be advised to be open to the radiation therapy teamconcerning any issues that they may have. For example, fertility maybe an issue, but patients can be assisted in case they communicateearlier. Also, patients may have stress but they can be assisted oncethey engage with the therapy team since the team can direct them tothe right people or resources.