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His tumor had maybe metastasized from other tumors and lesions throughout his body. His PCP had diagnosed him w dementia about 5 years before. I don't blame him. He gave the best diagnosis possible, having had him as a patient for 30 or 40 years. But when the ambulance drivers dragged him down the steps to go to emergency, the PCP suspected a (small?) Stroke. They brought him to Mercy hospital. They performed a CAT SCAN and discovered a tumor in his brain. I think it was at the outside and looked operable! Other than the dementia dad was in good health. I actually had hopes that the brain tumor had caused the dementia and I could "get my dad back". Then they did a CAT SCAN to make sure he had no other tumors present that they also would need to operate on.


SAD


He was in Mercy hospice, where they were very kind to him, for two more weeks, and then he passed. October 7, 2015. 3 years and 1 month later I am trying DESPERATELY to have a medical profession LISTEN and possibly save some lives.


WILL YOU????

I can see how a brain tumor might cause symptoms of dementia. But I don't think you will find a tumor in every dementia/Alz patient.

A family friend who was 81 years old had a stroke 2 years ago, then developed dementia. In July this year, he died of a brain aneurysm. There was CT done and no, there was no tumor.
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Reply to polarbear
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Thank u for informative answer. I have been very aggressive in pursuing this CAT SCAN thing, ONLY because I didn't want my dad's death to be in vain and I was hoping to save lives. But I can see the reality of the money end of it and even though it makes me sad--NOT really angry-- I am willing to let things be. I will probably post still but I will no longer make it my "mission" to suggest the correlation between CAT SCANS and Alzheimers.
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My stepdad has dementia. He also has metastasized cancer. One does not preclude the other.

His cancer diagnosis is very recent and out of the blue, he had no symptoms. He had had Colon cancer about 6 years ago, but was given the all clear.

He was given a CT Scan of his brain to check if the cancer had spread to it. It hasn’t yet. If he lives long enough it likely will spread to his brain.

We had a family friend whose behaviour become very odd. He did receive a CT and it was determined he had an inoperable brain tumour. He was not diagnosed with dementia.

OP, your father died of cancer. Like my stepdad it sounds like he also had dementia. Yes, your Dad’s dementia symptoms could have been caused or worsened by the brain tumour. But once cancer has metastasized it is only a matter of time before a person dies.

Like your Dad my stepdad went to hospital via ambulance with stroke like symptoms. In SD case they saw neither signs of a stroke nor any tumours in his brain. But later tests showed a 9cm tumour on his liver and many nodules throughout his abdomen.

Also like your dad SD has been under the care of a great GP.

As a family we have accepted that he is going to die. They have done one more biopsy to try to determine the original source of the cancer, as that may give us a timeline.

I know your heart is broken. Please get help to get past the anger stage of grief. Your father had a long healthy life, but since his death you have focused your emotions on the last few weeks of his life.
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Reply to Tothill
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I am sorry that you lost your dad.
I feel for you. I lost my dad 4 yrs ago to pancreatic carinoma, which by time he was dx he was gone 4 weeks later.

Your thinking if your dad had only had a CT done he could be here with you, but in truth that may still not be the case.

Dr's & hospitals don't want to spend a lot of money giving people CT without symptoms. Dr's dx by what symptoms are presented to them and your dad's Dr felt that dementia was the right fit at that time. Your dad didn't show signs that warrant for a CT. Had he had symtoms of bad headaches with no history of having headaches in the past; not being able to move one of his limbs; server eye problems, something like that than no reason for a CT.

But you don't know if his cancer started in his body and metastatic to his brain. Or did it started in his brain and metastatic to his body?

So let's say, your dad had a CT done, and his Dr found the tumor in your dad's brain and it could be operated on and he went through chemo & radiation. He would only had a 5% survival rate according to American Medical Journal & research that has been done. I know this seems harsh but it is reality. And this is best case scenario.

If Dr's gave every pt a CT because of forgetfulness with personality changes, with other signs that fit dementia it would cost the medical field millions of dollars a year, which in turn hospitals cost would go up, and health insurance would be higher than they already are.

And how do you know that your dad's brain tumor could be operated on without causing other major problems? Brain surgery is very tricky!

Again I am sorry for your lost. Just try to remember what you had with him. Focus on his life and not his death. Trust me that is what he would want for you.

May God be with you.
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Reply to Shell38314
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suzyschilling Nov 14, 2018
Thank u for ur thoughtful and compassionate reply. I guess, from what u say, the reality is that my suggestion WOULD be too costly. It is very sad to me that money takes precedence over human life. So I will tone down on my suggestion. And I will try merely to be supportive of the stories I read.

Thank u.

God is w me all the time.
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I think arguing whether a person needs a CT scan or an MRI is just quibbling over semantics and medical knowledge, the gist of my post was an agreement that often medical professionals see a confused older person and immediately think dementia and end of life, full stop. Whether or not the OP's father's cancer was too far advanced for treatment is a moot point, the lack of investigation never afforded him the opportunity to make that choice.
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Reply to cwillie
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CTs have little value in ALZ which is diagnosed as a collection of symptoms. CTs will show some white matter shrinkage or old infarcts but will not link the severity of ALZ. It is not general practice.
I am sorry you are still grieving. Unless the patient complains of something that warrants a CT, such as suspician for a stroke, it is usually not ordered (lots of radiation exposure) You do not mention what type of cancer plus metastatic which tells me that everything was too late to treat.
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Reply to MACinCT
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People often ask the forum whether they should bother trying to get a diagnosis when their loved ones are showing obvious signs of dementia and the vast majority of responders seem to feel that there is no need. Your post is proof that there IS a need, too often the elderly are written off prematurely by many in the medical community.
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MargaretMcKen Nov 11, 2018
Unfortunately this answer is unhelpful, as explained by MACinCT. Suzi has not understood that the metastatic brain tumour had spread from another cancer that was well established, and that removing it would still have left tumours that would have been fatal. Her posts have explicitly told the forum that she has bipolar mania issues, and unfortunately this worry is clearly being very distressing for her.
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