Tumor-Induced Cerebral Edema

First Things First (assess & treat for the following)

  • Tumors that metastasize to the brain occur in ~10-15% of systemic cancers.
  • The cancers w/ the greatest incidence of brain & intracranial metastasis (85%) are:
    • Lung
      • The most common cancer to metastasize to the brain
      • 50% of the metastases are single lesions.
    • Breast
      • 10-30% of advanced breast cancer metastasizes to the brain.
      • Usually occurs in younger & premenopausal pts
    • Malignant melanoma
      • 30-40% incidence of metastatic intracranial tumors
      • Usually multiple & hemorrhagic
    • Renal cell
      • Metastatic tumors also appear to be highly vascular.
      • They are more likely to be solitary tumors.
    • Colorectal
      • Colorectal tumors are infrequently metastatic to the brain.
      • Solitary metastases most frequently seen in posterior fossa
  • Any disease presenting as a space-occupying lesion or cerebral edema is suspect:
    • Intracranial abscess
    • Intracranial infection: parasitic
    • Hematomas
    • Tumors
    • Generalized cerebral edema

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Last updated: May 14, 2010