Abnormal and malignant growth of cells in the brain is referred to as brain cancer. Malignant tumors attack brain tissues aggressively, destroying healthy cells and capturing their space. They grow and spread fast as they absorb blood and nutrients. This growth in the closed area of the skull results in increased pressure on the parts of the brain and dysfunction of vital structures within the skull.
Brain cancer that originates in the brain itself is known as primary brain cancer and cancer that originates in some other organs such as lungs, breast, and then spreads to brain is known as metastatic brain cancer. Life expectancy for brain cancer varies according to the nature of the cancer, age of the patient, treatment received, the stage at which the cancer was diagnosed, type of the cancer and mental and physical health of the patient.
Stage 4 Brain Cancer Prognosis
Doctors watch the growth and spread of cancerous tumors and determine the stage of cancer. This helps design correct treatment. At the initial stage, the tumor is very small and confined to its origin. In the second and third stage, the tumor grows, multiplies and starts invading the nearby lymph nodes and organs. During the fourth or advanced stage, the cancerous cells spread through blood and lymph and attack distant organs.
Stage 4 cancer is the most advanced stage of cancer. At this stage, it is difficult to remove cancer from the body. So the treatment is focused on alleviating the pain and reducing the symptoms. Depending upon the condition of the patient, doses of chemotherapy and radiation therapy are decided by the doctor.
There are various types of brain tumors. It is possible to remove certain types of brain cancer tumors when detected in earlier stages. There are chances of recovery from cancer when the cancer is detected in early stages; but the possibility of recovering from stage 4 cancer is very very low.
When tumors developed in the brain spread to other organs in the body, the condition is known as stage 4 brain cancer. During this stage, the patient may experience hallucinations, vision problems, memory loss, headache, seizures, nausea, vomiting, hearing problems, etc. As the centers which control body functions are situated in the brain, various problems are developed one after the other. All these symptoms are managed with the help of advanced surgeries and medicines.
Facts about Stage 4 Brain Cancer Life Expectancy
According to the available statistics, every year, more than 13000 deaths due to brain cancer are recorded in the United States. Brain cancer prognosis is very bleak. Though the survival rate for advanced stage cancer is very poor, there are examples of patients who have lived for more than five years. Brain cancer stage 4 life expectancy depends upon the patient's will power, determination, positive attitude, love and support from the family and the overall mental and physical health.
The survival rate for the cancer varies from country to country. On an average, it is about 20%, which means about 20% people diagnosed with brain cancer may live up to five years.
- Life expectancy at stage 4, without any treatment, is about 2 - 3 months, as brain edema eventually leads to death.
- Those diagnosed with slow growing malignant tumor called oligodendroglioma, generally spend 16 - 18 years with cancer.
- At stage 4, the life expectancy for patients over the age of 60 is about 1 - 2 years.
- A young adult (below 40) with brain cancer is likely to live with the cancer for more than 5 years.
- The 5 year survival rate for the cancer at fourth stage in infants is lower than 30%.
- Life expectancy for tumors called glioblastoma multiforme is very very poor. Even after proper surgery and treatment the survival rate is 12 - 18 months only. This type of tumor is commonly found in adult patients. Only 4% patients survive up to 5 years.
Life expectancy for stage four brain cancer is very poor. Detection of the cancer in earlier stages helps increase the life expectancy significantly. This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Regular medical checkups play an important role in early diagnosis of cancer. CT scans, MRI, biopsies, etc., help diagnose the cancer at earlier stages. Symptoms like persistent headache, nausea, vision problems indicate brain tumors. If you notice such symptoms, you should immediately consult your physician.