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beatlebabe84
02-18-2006, 07:49 PM
I'm writing a short story about a man who's agonizing over his wife's diagnosis of cancer, but feels strange because the only sign she is sick is because she gets nose bleeds, but she's still going to die.

I know that Ive seen these kinds of symptoms on television, but I was wondering if this could be a real diagnosis for brain stem cancer or something involivng the brain?

ColoradoGuy
02-18-2006, 11:12 PM
I'm writing a short story about a man who's agonizing over his wife's diagnosis of cancer, but feels strange because the only sign she is sick is because she gets nose bleeds, but she's still going to die.

I know that Ive seen these kinds of symptoms on television, but I was wondering if this could be a real diagnosis for brain stem cancer or something involivng the brain?

Nose bleeds per se would not have anything directly to do with cancer. They are often caused, however, by a low platelet count. Platelets are made in the bone marrow, and patients with bone marrow cancers (the leukemias) often have nose bleeds (and easy bruising) as one of their early symptoms because the cancer cells have crowded out the megakaryocytes, the normal platelet-producing cells of the bone marrow. No megakaryocytes = no platelets, hence easy bleeding.

Cancer patients also often have low platelet counts for a secondary reason-from their chemotherapy for the cancer, since many of these drugs suppress the bone marrow.

Primary brain cancers almost never effect the bone marrow directly, although the leukemias can infiltrate the brain. In that situation, however, the patient would likely be quite ill generally. Usual symptoms of brain tumors are those caused by increased pressure in the head: headache, vomiting, somnolence progressing to coma. Brain stem tumors often cause symptoms associated with the brain functions there: difficulty swallowing, speaking, and breathing.

I hope that this helps. (I am a physician.)

beatlebabe84
02-19-2006, 01:01 AM
It really does help me...thanks!

spike
02-20-2006, 09:50 PM
I'm writing a short story about a man who's agonizing over his wife's diagnosis of cancer, but feels strange because the only sign she is sick is because she gets nose bleeds, but she's still going to die.

I know that Ive seen these kinds of symptoms on television, but I was wondering if this could be a real diagnosis for brain stem cancer or something involivng the brain?

My husband died from a Glioblastoma Multeforme tumor in left occipital lobe. His early symptoms were severe headaches upon waking.

Any other questions, PM me, and I'll be happy to answer. I took care of my husband for 17 months until the tumor took his life. So I have some experience about what a spouse feels.