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Radiation Therapy for Brain Tumours

Radiation therapy for brain tumours is a treatment to destroy or stop brain tumour growth. The treatment uses external beam radiation to target and kill the cancerous cells.

Radiation therapy for brain tumours is a treatment to destroy or stop brain tumour growth. The treatment uses external beam radiation to target and kill the cancerous cells.

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How Is Radiation Therapy for Brain Tumours Done?
Preparation
  • Steps to take before the procedure


    An imaging study of the area will be done carefully to plan the destruction of only tumour cells and not the healthy cells. Many scans will be done to diagnose and identify the mass of tumour cells. 3D imaging techniques will be used to mark the exact portion in the brain.

Procedure
Treatment Procedure
  • What happens during the treatment?


    An individualised treatment mask will be provided to the patient, which is custom made for the patient, to hold the head in correct position. The patient will lie on a treatment table or therapy couch. The mask will be attached to the table or couch. High energy radiation beams will be directed on the marked spots through a machine called linear accelerator. The session takes a few minutes.

Procedure
Post Treatment
  • After the procedure


    The treatment is done on an outpatient basis. But, a patient undergoing chemotherapy will require hospital admission. The doctor may prescribe a few medicines such as steroids or blood thinners on a preventive basis to minimise the after-effects of the treatment.

Procedure
What are the benefits and risks of Radiation Therapy for Brain Tumours procedure?

The therapy effectively kills the cancerous cells, but as any other surgery, it also has a few risks and limitations, which can be minimised with the help of medications.

Benefits

The advantages of Radiation Therapy for Brain Tumours are:

The therapy is really helpful when a patient cannot undergo surgery. It is also used post neurosurgery to kill remaining tumour cells. It prevents recurrence of tumour cells and slows down the growth. Besides destroying cancer cells, radiation therapy also helps in symptom management. It is a painless procedure so there is no discomfort during the surgery. Radiation therapy is also useful to treat the spread of cancer cells.

Risks

The risks associated with Radiation Therapy for Brain Tumours are:

Temporary effects post-treatment include weakness, fatigue, hair loss, nausea, brain swelling, and skin reaction. There is also a probability of blood clot formation in the patient’s leg, which hurt the leg, foot, and ankle as a result.

Limitations

Sometimes the radiation can alter the brain tissues. Small blood vessels can experience blockage, reducing the supply of oxygen to a portion of the brain. The patient may experience mild to serious cognitive disabilities. It may include unclear thoughts, difficulty in remembering things, feeling confused, headaches, or personality changes. Sometimes the initial symptoms of brain tumour come back.

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