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Checking for Brain Mets

Checking for Brain Mets

December 14, 2021
Sanjay Juneja, MD
Sanjay Juneja, MD

Medical Oncology

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So whereas small cell lung cancer has such a high incidence of spreading to the brain that you actually give whole brain radiation to reduce the chance of that happening, if you’re able to go for a curative intent with small cell. Non-small cell lung cancer also has a pretty high incidence of going to the brain as well. And for that reason, generally stage twos and stage threes may benefit and probably should get, especially in stage three, a brain MRI as part of their staging, to make sure that though it looks curable in the body or on the PET scan, you have to look at the brain which the PET scan can’t identify accurately to make sure there are not lesions there. However, if you do have a tumor in your brain and everything else in your body still looks curable as a stage two or stage three, you still can go for a curative intent by just treating that one or two spots in your brain, either with surgery or with radiation, and proceed as if it’s all curative. Studies show this curative approach can still be successful even though you’ve had that spread to the brain only.