The final stage of brain cancer can be quite frustrating for both the sufferers and their families. Treatment for brain cancer is available but patients cannot escape inevitable outcome. However, knowing what will occur in the final stage of brain cancer can help patients' loved ones to prepare for the end.
Symptoms of End Stage of Brain Cancer
Most of the symptoms caused by early stages of brain cancer are also present in the last stage but they are much worse. In the final stage of brain cancer patients typically have severe headaches accompanied by vomiting, memory impairment, dizziness, difficulty speaking and limited range of motion which may cause difficulty walking.
Probably the most challenging symptoms for patients and their loved ones are behavioral and personality changes caused by end stage of the disease. Patients in the last stage of brain cancer become moody and withdrawn. They may exhibit bizarre behavior and become aggressive and suicidal. They often become violent toward their caregivers as they get easily irritated. Such patients may attack family members physically and verbally. It is important for the sufferers’ families to known that this is caused by the tumor and chemical changes in the brain. These behavioral changes do not represent true patient’s behavior.
Side Effects of Treatment for End Stage Brain Cancer
Before the patient reaches the end stage of brain cancer, treatments like surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy have been probably used. Brain cancer treatment aims to remove the tumor or stop cell growth but, on the other hand, it causes severe side effects and affects functioning of the brain. Side effects of chemotherapy and radiation such as nausea and vomiting can be managed with certain medications. However, effect on the brain caused by brain surgery, such as long-lasting neurological damage, cannot be avoided.
Pain caused by cancer is probably the worst pain that exists. Such pain is especially severe when cancer spreads to bones. Oncologists usually prescribe strong opiate drugs for pain management. Strong opioid medicines such as morphine, methadone and oxycodone are related to illicit drugs like opium and heroin. Sometimes, patients and their families may be concerned about these medications because they fear of addiction. However, the risk of addiction is very low when opioid medications are used for pain and exactly as prescribed. Also, patients and families should not worry about such things and think of pain medications as the only relief from severe pain caused by the end stage of brain cancer.