University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Brain Tumor Patient Benefits from Technology

By Abby Sinnott, UCSF Medical Center | June 25, 2006

Sasha Cano thought she was dreaming: she woke up in an ambulance and was told that she was being taken to the emergency room.

"When they told me I had had a seizure, I didn't believe them," Cano recalls, who in December 2003, awoke from her sleep feeling "claustrophobic" and then walked into her parents living room where she had a grand mal seizure.

Cano was taken to John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek, Calif. where doctors thought she was suffering from encephalitis -- inflammation of the brain caused by a virus -- and was given antibiotics. The medication did not reduce the swelling in her brain, so other tests were taken.

Cano was given a series of tests, including a CAT scan, MRI and brain biopsy, to determine the cause of her seizure. The next day, she was told she had a brain tumor, which the doctors believed was a type known as a Glioma.

"All I wanted to know was, 'So how do we fix it?'" Cano remembers, who is now 32-years-old and resides in Clayton, Calif.

Cano was sent to UCSF Medical Center, one of the top hospitals in the nation in neurology and neurosurgery with the largest brain tumor treatment program in the United States. She visited Dr. Mitchel Berger, who is internationally renowned for his expertise in treating brain and spinal cord tumors.

Read more at Abby Sinnott, UCSF Medical Center