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This question was answered on Sun 30, Mar 2008 02:24am by Dr Heinrik M, MD

Anaplastic Oligoastrocytoma - Grade III and chances of survival

Asked by diana (Male ) on Fri 28, Mar 2008 09:56am

My son in law is diagnosed - Anaplastic Oligoastrocytoma, Grade III. He had tumor removed 10 years ago and again this month.Although we know the prognosis is not good the question is, how does this disease finally kill the patient? Does it continue to grow to the point surgery is no longer an option and then the tumor just takes over until the brain doesn't function? Does it happen fairly quickly once treatment has been stopped?

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Answer by Dr Heinrik M, MD  on Sun 30, Mar 2008 02:24am:

Hi, Find out how extensive the disease is and your options. It would be best if he is seen by a team of doctors to weigh what options are available. Primary brain cancers are best discussed on a case-to-case basis, to determine prognosis. As to the cause of death, this would depend on the actual location of the tumor and the areas of the brain that would be affected. The tumor causes a mass or compression effect and hence areas of the brain required for normal function are compromised. Among the more serious are the centers for respiration with respiratory arrest as a cause of death. For most cases, the mass effect renders the patient progressively somnolent, and hence coma generally occurs before respiratory arrest. Some cases may present with seizures and complications with airway obstruction during the seizure may cause the demise. It would be a good idea to be prepared to handle a seizure, placing the patient in the proper position would prevent choking on his own tongue.

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