Treatment Advances Give Hope to People with Brain Metastases

Friday, June 8, 2018
By Erin Hull
Dave and Lisa VanTress

Dave and Lisa VanTress stand outside their home in Little River, SC.

Lisa VanTress didn’t know why she couldn’t regain her land legs after a 13-hour fishing trip in the summer of 2016. When the dizziness caused her to stumble and fall, she went to the emergency room. She soon learned she had lung cancer that had spread to her brain.

A Grim Prognosis, Hope from a Second Opinion

Doctors near her home in Little River, SC, gave VanTress a grim prognosis. They said the two masses in her brain were inoperable.

VanTress sought a second opinion with DukeHealth neurosurgeon Peter Fecci, MD, PhD. She and her husband, Dave, are glad they did.

“If she hadn’t come here and she had gone home, there’s no doubt that she’d be dead by now,” said Dr. Fecci, co-director of the Duke Center for Brain and Spine Metastasis. “People still have traditional, old-school attitudes toward these tumors and think they can’t be treated. That’s just not true anymore.”

“I took a look and said, this is a difficult situation but it is something that we can operate on and it’s something that we can treat,” he said.



Read entire article on the Duke Health Blog 

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