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What treatment for brain cancer in the elderly?

Q: My father is 74 years old and he has a tumour in his brain due to which his right hand and right leg have become paralysed. The growth of the tumour has been very terrible and it has spread. He has become very weak and his weight is only 45 kgs. Also he has a liver failure. Due to his low weight, the doctors have advised against neurosurgery as he will not be able to bear the same. Instead, they have suggested radiotherapy. On consulting an oncologist, he believes that there is no use in treating him due to his weak state and he has opined that it is a cancer. He is not able to find the root of the cancer. Now he is completely bed ridden and is unable to speak or go to the toilet. I just want to ask you if you feel it is a cancer and are there any medications other than allopathy to help? Kindly advise.

A:A brain scan can frequently give us a good idea as to the nature of the growth, i.e. whether benign or cancerous. Sometimes we can be almost be 100% sure. Considering the present condition of your father, his age, his weakness, his difficulty in speaking and understanding and his incontinence, the picture does fit into a cancerous condition. Sometimes, it is kinder and more dignified for the patient to be allowed to proceed to his next life. If your father was mine, I would let him be and just treat symptomatically, (eg. pain killers for pain).


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