Radiotherapy for brain tumors

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What Is Radiation Therapy for Brain Tumors?

Radiation oncology works by destroying tumor cells with high-energy radiation. Our radiation oncology experts work exclusively with brain tumor patients. Such specialization allows us to deliver treatments with unparalleled precision and safety.

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The goal of radiation therapy is to get enough radiation into the tumor to destroy cancer cells while preventing damage to healthy brain tissue. As one of the top brain tumor programs in the country, we have a long history of offering only the best and most accurate radiation therapies.

Hair loss You may experience hair loss in the treated area about two weeks after treatment begins. Hair will often grow back after treatment stops, though in some cases the regrowth may be incomplete. To prevent further hair loss, use a mild shampoo not harsh or fragranced when bathing. Soft hairbrushes and low heat while blow-drying will also help prevent further damage to your hair. Because areas exposed to radiation tend to sunburn easily, patients should protect those areas by applying sunscreen or wearing a wig, hat, or scarf.

1. Radiation kills cancer.

Swelling edema Radiation causes tumor cells to die. The body's natural response to cell death or injury is swelling. Edema is extra fluid, or swelling, within the tissues of the brain. If brain swelling occurs, it can cause headaches, weakness, seizures, confusion, or speech difficulty. It may also worsen the symptoms that were present before treatment. If you start to feel uncomfortable with headaches or any other symptoms, discuss this with your radiation oncologist.

  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery (Radiation Therapy): Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Brain Tumor Center.
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  • Steroid medication dexamethasone may be given to reduce brain swelling and fluid within the tumor. Steroids should always be taken with food to protect your stomach and prevent nausea. Steroids can also affect the normal bacteria in your mouth and cause a yeast infection called thrush — whitish patches on the tongue.

    Do not abruptly stop taking steroids. A tapering schedule is required to avoid withdrawal. Radiation necrosis In rare cases, radiotherapy may cause the center of the tumor to become necrotic dead. Radiation necrosis can happen anytime, but it most often occurs 6 to 12 months after radiotherapy. This dying tissue can become toxic to surrounding normal brain, and swelling may occur. Radiation necrosis may look similar to a regrowing tumor on an MRI scan.

    However, sometimes these tests are not definitive. Treatment for radiation necrosis may include:. After all radiotherapy sessions are done, MRI scans will be taken periodically so that your doctors can look for signs of response. Several months may pass before the effects of treatment are visible.

    Brain Tumor: Types of Treatment |

    Some tumors may be completely eliminated with radiation. For others tumors the goal is to stop or halt the growth. In some cases the tumor may not shrink, but still be considered "controlled. Links www. This information is not intended to replace the medical advice of your health care provider. Our neurosurgeons review complex cases at Tumor Board, collaborating with radiation oncologists, neuroradiologists, pathologists, and medical oncologists. Together, we are capable of controlling many brain tumors with a combination of treatments, including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, surgery, implant therapy radiation seeds , and radiosurgery.

    We use the most advanced radiation technology available to treat patients with tumors and other abnormalities of the head, neck and body. We target lesions with precisely focused beams of radiation, often making invasive surgery and hospitalization unnecessary.

    Targeted radiotherapy of brain tumours

    To make an appointment call Make an Appointment. Click here for information about clinical trials conducted by our doctors at local Cincinnati hospitals or call Ron Warnick. Radiotherapy of the brain fractionated Overview Radiotherapy uses high-energy rays to destroy tumors and other diseases. What is fractionated radiotherapy? There are several types of machines, but they all do the same things: Precisely locate the target tumor, lesion Hold the target still Accurately aim the radiation beam Shape the radiation beam to the target Deliver a specific radiation dose Figure 1.

    Radiotherapy shapes the radiation beam to match the outline of the tumor and includes a margin of normal brain to prevent recurrence. The beams come from many angles and intersect at the tumor to produce a high dose.

    When you have radiotherapy

    The red ring shows the high dose and each outer ring represents lower and lower doses. Figure 2. A thermoplastic mask is custom-fit to the contours of your face. The front and back pieces of mesh are secured to a U-shaped frame that attaches to the treatment table to hold the head still. Figure 3. Reflective balls are placed on the facemask prior to CT scanning.

    Markers are seen on the CT scan and help pinpoint the exact coordinates of the tumor or lesion. Radiation therapy works to destroy brain tumors or slow their growth. It can be used alone or in combination with surgery, chemotherapy or cancer biologics. Learn more about brain tumor treatments. Stanford radiation oncologists specialists in treating brain tumors with radiation have years of experience in radiation therapy and specialized training in brain tumor treatment.

    Our goal is to help you achieve the best possible quality of life. Our expertise in radiation therapy for brain tumors includes:. Our specialists in radiation oncology are actively involved in research and clinical trials, publish in peer-reviewed journals and speak at conferences. By staying at the forefront of brain tumor treatment, our experts bring you the latest, most advanced therapies for better treatment outcomes.

    Meet your care team.


    We use a team-based approach to diagnose and treat brain tumors. Our specialists collaborate during a weekly Brain Tumor Board where they discuss the most complex cases. Our goal is to give you advanced, effective and comprehensive care. We have more experience using CyberKnife — a noninvasive radiation therapy — to treat brain tumors than any other facility in the world.

    In fact, we have treated more than 5, patients using the CyberKnife system. We also have the most advanced linear accelerators specialized radiation treatment machines to provide precision radiation therapy using image-guided radiotherapy IGRT and volumetric-modulated arc therapy VMAT. Learn more about our radiation procedures.

    Radiation Oncology for Primary Brain Tumors – What You Need to Know

    At Stanford, our radiation oncologists are pushing the boundaries in using advanced radiosurgery for brain tumor treatment. In many cases, treatments that previously took 6 weeks using conventional radiation can now be completed in just 1 week.

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