Radiation Therapy for Brain Tumors
by Michael Jubinville, MPH
Radiation therapy is a method used to kill tumor cells. It tends to work best when used with other methods such as surgery and chemotherapy. It may be used after surgery to kill tumor cells left behind. Sometimes, it’s used to ease problems caused by the tumor.
The types used are:
External Beam Radiation
This type is made by a machine outside the body. Short bursts are aimed at the tumor. It's most often given over many sessions. For some, single doses that are more focused may be better.
The craniospinal type treats the whole brain and spinal cord. It’s used when there’s been a spread to nearby layers or fluid.
The method may be as:
Radioactive material is placed in or near the tumor. This tends to work better when they are smaller.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery TOP
This method aims beams to a very focused place. As a result, higher doses can be used over less time.
It’s used more when cancer has spread from other sites in the body. This may not be offered where you live.
Side Effects and Management TOP
You may have problems with:
There are many ways to fix these problems. Common methods are medicines and lifestyle changes. In some cases, the dose may be changed. Call your doctor as soon as you notice any problems.
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Last reviewed June 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 8/9/2018
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