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mets from skull to brain
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mets from skull to brain

How long on average for small skull mets this summer to go into brain?  Mother-in-law has had 3 remissions over 19 years, hormone-receptive, 83 years old. Only in bones so far, mets in hips and skull this summer.  Aredia is taking away 80% of pain. Legs getting weak; feel like "noodles."  Says her head feels funny. Taking 25 mg Aromacin for last try at remission; not working so far.  Prognosis if in brain? (affecting walking.) Should we look up brain cancer to find out what will happen as far as symptoms, pain, etc.?  Family needs to know what to expect and if decision will be necessary soon as to how much longer she can be alone during the day. She refuses to use a cane or walker and holds on to furniture to walk. Everyone has warned her about falling. Possibility exists of overruling her wishes to keep her safe, unfortunately.
   Any symptoms of mets going to brain we can watch for?  Will tumors grow faster there than in bone?  What is the % chance that the end will be slow and agonizing?  She believes that she is going fast as weakness growing rapidly.  Should we ask for a specialist in pain management, if one exists.  She is in the Cleveland Clinic system.  Thanks for any help!
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Dear susanne:  A metastasis to the skull does not mean that there will ever be brain metastasis.  skull mets are considered bone mets - and it sounds like her disease is limited to bone mets at this point.  If she does develop brain metastasis, her symptoms could be quite variable - any thing from difficulty walking to one sided weakness, to visual changes, speech difficulties, siezures, etc.  My suggestion is that you consider a palliative care consultation.  This is a service who's primary focus is on symptom management (including pain management) and quality of life issues.  You may want to ask her doctor about this.
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