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Are my mother's symptoms related to cancer surgery?

Q: My mother is 73 years old. Her sister died of breast cancer. Five years ago, she was operated for ovarian cancer. She was okay till last year. She was detected with brain tumour, under her right ear lobe and cerebellum area and she was operated again. Also given radiation. Overall she is performing well till today except after the operation she feels uneasy in her head; also she feels blurred vision in her left eye. She also feels unstable while walking. Clinically doctor feels everything is just fine but she is not comfortable till today. Is this the side effect of the treatment, which may ware out with time? Can we do something to give her relief for this persistent problem?

A:From the details provided I can summarise the case as following: This 73 years lady, at the age of 67 years was treated for ovarian cancer and then last year she was operated and irradiated for a brain tumour. The family wants to know whether her symptoms of uneasiness in the head and instability are due to the side effect of the treatment, which would wear off. Her sister had died of breast cancer. 1. I need to know what was the type of brain tumour – secondary from the ovary or a new tumour, and if so what was the biopsy report? 2. Did she have these symptoms before the operation for the brain tumour or did they develop immediately after the surgery? These symptoms are sometimes caused by the effect of residual tumour or from the surgery and if at all they fade, it is a slow process. 3. Since the patient had ovarian cancer, then breast cancer and her sister had breast cancer, there is a possibility of hereditary breast ovarian cancer syndrome hence full details of any other cancer case on the maternal or paternal side should be reported. All other women in the family may also benefit from screening or genetic counselling.


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