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O'Connor's Symptoms Worsen; Radiation To Start Early
08-17-2006, 04:00 PM
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O'Connor's Symptoms Worsen; Radiation To Start Early
PITTSBURGH -- Mayor Bob O'Connor will begin radiation treatments Thursday to address what UPMC Shadyside calls "worsening symptoms" related to the cancerous tumors in his brain.The original plan announced by doctors called for whole brain radiation to start next week, and for a shunt to be surgically implanted in O'Connor's abdomen today to redirect fluid buildup from his brain.Instead, the surgery has been shelved and the radiation schedule has been bumped up to Thursday and Friday. That will be followed on Monday by a radiation treatment targeted directly to his tumors, the hospital said.
It's not yet clear what caused the abrupt change in the mayor's treatment strategy..More than a month after being diagnosed with central nervous system lymphoma, a brain scan does not show significant shrinkage of O'Connor's tumors, doctors said Wednesday.The new brain scan clearly shows he still has active lymphoma in four places, doctors said.O'Connor's first radiation treatments will target the entire brain, with higher doses hitting the tumors and lesser doses hitting the normal areas, doctors said.

Dr. Stanley Marks acknowledged a chance of 10 percent or less that the treatments will carry a side effect of neurocognitive dysfunction, especially because of the mayor's age.While O'Connor is disabled, Deputy Mayor Yarone Zober continues to run the city in his absence.
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