If you have been diagnosed with a brain tumor, you are probably feeling the world has turned upside down on you. At our cancer center, our team will work with you to make this experience the least stressful as possible. A brain tumor is a mass or growth of abnormal cells. Primary brain tumors are classified as either malignant (contain cancer cells) or benign (do not contain cancer cells), and begin in the brain.
If a cancerous tumor which starts elsewhere in the body sends cells which end up growing in the brain, these tumors are called secondary or metastatic brain tumors. The most common types of cancer that can spread to the brain:
- Breast Cancer
- Colon cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
Typical Symptoms of Brain Tumors
* Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
* Memory loss or problems
* Mood and personality changes
* Balance and walking problems can occur
* Nausea and vomiting
* Changes in speech, vision, and/or hearing
Role of Radiation Treatment for Brain Tumors
Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams, such as X-rays to kill tumor cells. Radiation therapy can come from a machine outside your body (external beam radiation), or, in very rare cases, radiation can be placed inside your body close to your brain tumor (brachytherapy).
External beam radiation can focus just on the area of your brain where the tumor is located, or it can be applied to your entire brain (whole-brain radiation). Whole-brain radiation is most often used to treat cancer that has spread to the brain from some other part of the body.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) is not a form of surgery in the traditional sense. Instead, radiosurgery uses multiple beams of radiation to give a highly focused form of radiation treatment to kill the tumor cells in a very small area. Each beam of radiation isn’t particularly powerful, but the point where all the beams meet — at the brain tumor — receives a very large dose of radiation to kill the tumor cells. Radiosurgery (SRS) is typically done in one treatment, and in most cases you can go home the same day.
To learn more about SRS technology click here.