Heading to Mayo Clinic. Anyone flown with a brain tumor?

Posted by KarenBB @pejiota4jack, Aug 28, 2019

I am in my 50’s and a type 2 diabetic.For the past few years there have been autoimmune symptoms that remain undiagnosed. Then in May I began to have double vision. We finally have an appointment with Mayo Clinic next week. The diagnosis at this point is a tumor within the first of the cavernous sinus. It is causing problems with cranial nerves 5 and 6. The pain level today is pretty bad and I love in the middle of Momtana. I know that the vibration of the car will be rough but I worry about the pressure changes of flying. Any input would be appreciated.
Karen

Hi @pejiota4jack, welcome to Connect. I glad to hear that you were able to get an appointment at Mayo Clinic. I can understand your apprehension about flying and cabin pressure if the tumor is causing problems with the cranial nerves and your pain level is high. I'm tagging fellow members, @kmart @mrector @lisakuehl @nancye3 @frit5 @ees1 @pegorr, who I believe may have traveled far for treatment and possibly flown. I hope they can share their experiences.

More specifically, I hope to hear from @jrt26 @julieannarcand and @ees1, who have written about their experiences with cavernous sinus meningioma here:
– Cavernous sinus meningioma https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/cavernous-sinus-meningioma/

Jack, have you talked to your local doctor or the neurology department at Mayo to ask about travel and things they recommend to make flying comfortable?

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Hi, While I didn't fly for my gamma knife and my cyberknife treatments, drove from Montana to Seattle,Washington, I have flown with head pain since. I find that if I put on my Bose noise cancelling, over the ear head phones it keeps the pressure down and the pain minimal. I hope this helps, but maybe someone else will have a better idea. Wishing you all the best. peg p.s. flying in October with 3 remaining tumors.

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@pegorr

Hi, While I didn't fly for my gamma knife and my cyberknife treatments, drove from Montana to Seattle,Washington, I have flown with head pain since. I find that if I put on my Bose noise cancelling, over the ear head phones it keeps the pressure down and the pain minimal. I hope this helps, but maybe someone else will have a better idea. Wishing you all the best. peg p.s. flying in October with 3 remaining tumors.

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Thanks for the reply! My husband wants to drive so that we can take it slow.

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@pegorr

Hi, While I didn't fly for my gamma knife and my cyberknife treatments, drove from Montana to Seattle,Washington, I have flown with head pain since. I find that if I put on my Bose noise cancelling, over the ear head phones it keeps the pressure down and the pain minimal. I hope this helps, but maybe someone else will have a better idea. Wishing you all the best. peg p.s. flying in October with 3 remaining tumors.

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Praying for the greatest possible result for your October appointment. Karen

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@pegorr

Hi, While I didn't fly for my gamma knife and my cyberknife treatments, drove from Montana to Seattle,Washington, I have flown with head pain since. I find that if I put on my Bose noise cancelling, over the ear head phones it keeps the pressure down and the pain minimal. I hope this helps, but maybe someone else will have a better idea. Wishing you all the best. peg p.s. flying in October with 3 remaining tumors.

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I’m flying from Washington to Mayo for my Ovarian Cancer that returned . I trust my Doctors at Mayo .

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@pejiota4jack

Thanks for the reply! My husband wants to drive so that we can take it slow.

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@pejiota4jack I just found this older discussion on Connect about flying with a brain tumor and thought you'd appreciate the information in it.
– Is it safe to fly with a brain tumor? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/is-it-safe-to-fly-with-a-brain-tumor/

In that thread, I referenced this article from the Pacific Neuroscience Institute (https://www.pacificneuroscienceinstitute.org/blog/brain-tumor/is-it-safe-for-patients-with-brain-tumors-to-fly/ ). In a study recently published in the Journal of Neuro-Oncology, “Safety of commercial airflight in patients with brain tumors: a case series,” (Phillips et.al. 2018), researchers reported the safety data for patients with brain tumors. Here is the full study https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11060-018-2905-6

In short, the study found "Overall, airflight was found to be safe for patients with brain tumors. Nevertheless, if patients have brain tumors and seek to travel by plane, they should have discussions with their neurosurgeon or neuro-oncologist to ensure individual safety."

I think you may have already decided to drive however.

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