Radiation therapy to combat cancer applies ionizing radiation. The latest techniques used in Israel to limit harm to healthy cells.
Radiation therapy of brain tumors can be recommended:
- as the primary treatment, if the operation can not be performed;
- after surgery, when not all of the tumor has been removed;
- after surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence;
- in combination with chemotherapy, where there is a high grade glioma;
- if relapsed low-grade tumor.
When low grade glioma doctor may recommend monitoring and observation before radiotherapy. It will keep track of the symptoms of regular scan to see the changes.
Irradiation is carried out at the Institute for radiotherapy and radiosurgery at Assuta Hospital, headed by a leading radiation oncologist in Israel - Dr. Svetlana Zalmanova.
Advances in the treatment of cancer in Israel is largely due to the use of modern developments and technologies, particularly in the field of diagnostics. The effectiveness of treatment depends directly on the accuracy of the diagnosis.
This type of radiation treatment of a brain tumor is performed in a hospital. It is a series of daily, short sessions. Held during the week, with a break for the weekend. Sometimes radiation administered three days a week. The duration varies from two to six weeks, it is influenced by the type and size of the tumor.
This type of radiation therapy provides higher and more accurate radiation dose compared with external radiotherapy. When this is minimal impact on the surrounding healthy tissue, reducing side effects. From a different angle beams of radiation are directed small and intersect at the point of the tumor. Indications are usually small tumors that can not be surgically removed.
Stereotactic radiotherapy of brain tumors may be performed in conjunction with other methods, either as monotherapy.
This kind stereotactic radiotherapy, which are used as the sole treatment for about 30 minutes. Surgery is not involved. This treatment gamma knife by name applied accelerator. By scanning area determined precise processing. Used stereotactic frame.
Preparing for radiation therapy in brain tumors
Before starting treatment, the patient signs the consent form to conduct irradiation. It is important to pay attention to the following points.
If the patient - a woman of childbearing age, it is important that during the treatment, she became pregnant. Radiation therapy can be harmful to the developing baby. Doctors give more information on this subject, as well as recommend the process of conception to postpone for a few months after the end of therapy.
Pacemakers, implantable cardiac devices and auditory implants
If a patient has one of these devices, it is important to inform the oncologist or radiologist. The fact that they radiotherapy may affect, so it's important to plan treatment.
Studies have shown that quitting smoking during and after radiation therapy may improve treatment efficacy and reduce side effects. So, if the patient smokes should stop.
Planning radiotherapy of brain tumors in Assuta
Treatment is carefully planned, it will ensure that the exposure will be directed precisely to the tumor, causing minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue. All sessions of radiotherapy is planned on an individual basis with the participation of a team of specialists. It may be needed for mask exposure.
First visit last about 30-60 minutes. Staff in the department of radiotherapy will explain what to expect and what to prepare. scanning is performed using the CT of the area to be treated. It is necessary to determine the precise treatment area.
CT scanning involves the creation of a large number of pictures from different angles to create a three-dimensional image. Can be applied to the injection of contrast medium, it will increase the sharpness.
Instead CT Some patients are prescribed an MRI or PET sometimes with the aim to plan treatment.
MRI uses a powerful magnetic field to create a detailed picture of the area that needs treatment. PET scanning measures the activity of cells in different parts of the body, applying a low dose of radioactive glucose.
Perhaps the patient will be given additional instructions - compliance with a special diet or drinking large amounts of water.
Masks for radiotherapy in brain tumors in Assuta
Special masks and clips (keep feet, hands or other body parts) are used to immobilize the treatment to be as accurate as possible and effective.
The mask covers the face and the front part of the head, collar zone during the procedure. It ensures immobility and processing the designated zone. The mask is prepared individually, made of transparent plastic or plastic mesh, corresponding to the shape of the face.
The patient is still possible to see and breathe normally, in addition to wear a mask just need a few minutes. Most patients will soon get used to it. In the case of claustrophobia and panic must inform radiologists.
Marks on the skin
The treatment area may apply special markings, through which is determined the exact location where the radiation will be directed. As a rule, do tattoos tiny size with the patient's consent. There is also a possibility of putting marks on the mask instead of the skin.
During radiation therapy require additional care for the skin in the treatment area. This is due to the fact that the treatment can cause a skin reaction. Medical staff gives detailed recommendations. Possible side effects will depend on the type of radiation therapy in the treatment area.
Usually advised to avoid using any deodorants, soaps, perfumes, lotions in the treatment zone, the usual razor should be replaced with an electric. Their application can intensify pain.
Side effects of radiation therapy of brain tumors
Possible development of adverse effects during treatment. They usually disappear gradually over several weeks or months after completion of therapy. The doctor tells the patient that he knew what to expect. In turn, the patient should report the occurrence of any adverse symptoms skilled because there are ways that can reduce or prevent their development. Stereotactic Radiotherapy causes fewer side effects.
Radiotherapy provokes considerable fatigue, so you should get plenty of rest. This condition may last for several months after treatment. It is important to combine activity and rest during the day.
When brain irradiation may occur drowsiness, occurring 4-8 weeks after treatment. The patient will feel a lack of energy, spend a lot of time sleeping. Condition gradually improved.
Some people develop headaches during exposure. It is important to inform your doctor, he will appoint painkillers. Radiation therapy for brain tumors may cause edema and hypertension. If the headache triggered by these reasons, will be registered steroids.
In the processing area the patient will lose their hair, and on the opposite side of the head, from whence come the rays. 2-3 months after the end of treatment your hair grow back normally. Sometimes they are a little color change may become thinner than before. In some cases, hair growth is not restored, it is related to the dose of radiotherapy.
The skin in the treated area may become red, dry, itchy and sensitive. Dark skin has become even darker shade. Doctors will give tips on care. If there is peeling and inflammation, prescribe a cream. After 2-4 weeks after radiation therapy in brain tumors, these reactions take place.
A few recommendations that will help to remove irritation:
- Wash your hair and scalp with a soft, warm or cool water. Do not use perfumed soap or shampoo.
- Dry carefully with a soft towel, do not rub or use a hair dryer.
- Wear a hat to protect your head from the sun or the cold, yet observed any reaction.
- If a man shaves his head, use an electric razor instead of wet shaving.
- It is necessary to protect the head from sun exposure during treatment and for at least one year afterwards. It is necessary to cover it or use a sunscreen with a factor (SPF) of at least 30.
If there is such a condition, doctors prescribe special preparations. In the absence of appetite, you can try replacing meals nutritious, high-calorie drinks.
Some people notice that the side effects are temporarily worsen after treatment. The patient may feel depressed or worried that radiation therapy does not help. But it is usually a reaction to exposure or elimination / reduction of steroids. It is important to inform your doctor if symptoms worsen.
Radiation therapy of brain tumors may cause side effects which develop months or years after treatment. They are called long-term side effects.
New methods of radiation, which are used in Assuta, aimed at limiting exposure to healthy tissue and reduce the risk of long-term side effects. In general, the benefits of treatment will be much greater than the probability of long-term negative consequences.
The doctor at the hospital Assuta tells the patient about these risks before the procedure. The patient, in turn, should discuss with their professional concerns and fears. Possible long-term effects include:
- Changes in memory and thinking. This condition is called intellectual disabilities.
- The development of cataracts, if radiation therapy is carried out near the eyes. The clear lens becomes cloudy and blurred, and vision deteriorates. However, cataracts, usually without too much difficulty are treated with a small operation.
- Changes in hormone levels, if the treatment affects the pituitary gland. This can lead to problems with the menstrual cycle, sexual desire or thyroid.
- The emergence of another cancer in the treated area years later. It observed in rare cases.