The most common type of cancer that spreads easily to the brain is lung cancer. When lung cancer spreads to the brain, it implies that cancer cells broken off from the cancer tumor in the lungs, and enter into the blood stream or lymphatic tissue which enables it to spread easily to the brain. Lung cancer in the brain is termed “lung cancer metastatic to the brain”. When lung cancer spreads to the brain, it affects brain tissues, and the cells in the brain causing them to malfunction. The cancer cells in the brain continue the growth process which involves growing, and dividing without dying.
Lung cancer spreading to the brain signifies that the cancer is in it critical or advanced stage which is very dangerous. Both small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer are known to easily spread to the brain. Small cell lung cancer tends to spread more rapidly; it must have spread before the diagnosis of the lung cancer is made. When small cell lung cancer spreads to the brain it is classified as extensive stage small cell lung cancer.
Moreover, non-small cell lung cancer spreads to the brain also, but it occurs at when the non-small cell cancer is at its most advanced stage. Non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to the brain is classified as stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer. The presence of lung cancer in the brain can cause symptoms like headaches, seizures, loss of balance, memory loss, fatigue, and so on.
Lung cancer that has spread to the brain can no longer be treated through surgery, a radioactive therapy, chemotherapy, or clinical trial is always recommended. If your doctor suspects your lung cancer has spread to your brain, a computed tomography (CT) scan, or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of your head will be carried out to detect the cancer.