Quality of Life Improvement with Hydrocortisone

2 Oct

Just finished Susie’s cancer follow-up this week.  Her neuro-oncologist was greatly pleased with how she has physically improved over the summer.  She had been fighting fatigue and persistent ear infections over the last couple of years.  Her condition had deteriorated significantly during the spring, with two trips to the ER due to low sodium levels (hyponatremia).

She was prescribed hydrocortisone in June.  After which, her sodium levels have been returned to normal and her energy levels have improved.  So much so, that we felt comfortable taking a vacation in California to see friends and our son.  A key indicator of Susie’s improvement is she is now back in the pool, targeting twice a week while wearing a wetsuit to keep warm.

At the end of her follow-up appointment, her neuro-oncologist remarked that her case is very interesting.  Not only has Susie beaten the statistics regarding progression free and overall survival for grade 3 glioma and grade 4 secondary glioblastoma, but also surviving all of her complications during each phase.  He also mentioned the marked improvement due to the addition of hydrocortisone is new and worth considering/ studying for improving quality of life, obviously requiring the addition of an endocrinologist.

I found an article in Oncology journal that discusses the use of Corticosteroids in Advanced Cancer.  There is also an article in the National Center for Biotechnology Information on Corticosteroids in Brain Cancer Patients: Benefits and Pitfalls.  It is hard to assess from these articles when/ if adding such drugs is beneficial.  I guess having firsthand experience is needed before feeling comfortable trying such an approach.