Tumors can occur anywhere in the body, including the brain. Brain tumors can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Both types can cause symptoms and affect your quality of life. In some cases, tumors may be dangerous to your health depending on the location. Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) is a type of radiation therapy that treats brain lesions.
Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a highly accurate form of radiation therapy that targets brain or spinal tumors, as well as other abnormalities in the brain. SRS may also treat brain metastases. Brain metastases are cancer cells which originate in other parts of the body, but have spread to the brain.
SRS works in much the same way as other types of radiotherapy. Radiation damages the DNA of cancerous cells, preventing them from reproducing and spreading. Radiation can also damage the DNA of healthy cells, which is why thorough planning is important.
Stereotactic radiosurgery can treat:
SRS generally requires fewer treatments than traditional radiation therapy, and in most cases can be performed in one day.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) is a multi-part process. Thorough planning is necessary prior to treatment.
The tumor first must be scanned using 3-D imaging techniques such as CT, MRI, or PET/CT. Imaging provides details such as the height, shape, and exact location of the tumor. This information helps your radiation oncologist and in most cases neurosurgeon assess the dose and treatment method to use.
Accurate images also help ensure accurate treatment with minimal damage to surrounding tissue.
Once information about the tumor has been obtained, your radiation oncologist will work with a team of radiation specialists to plan your entire treatment.
Treatment Planning Includes:
Since SRS usually treats brain, neck, and head tumors, your radiation oncologist may take a multidisciplinary approach. He or she may work in conjunction with a neurosurgeon, neurologist, neuroradiologist, or neuro-opthamologist. Your radiation oncologist will determine the best treatment option for you.
The exact positioning of the patient for each treatment session is crucial. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) requires the use of a head frame, also known as a stereotactic ring, to immobilize the patient during treatment.
What to Expect During SRS Treatment:
SRS treatments may take place in a single session or multiple sessions depending on the size and location of the tumor.
There are 3 Types of SRS Treatment Methods:
Stereotactic Radiosurgery is painless and noninvasive whether a Linear Accelerator or Gamma Knife is used. Unlike traditional surgery, SRS poses no risk of infections, hemorrhage, or other surgery-related complications.
Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) tends to have fewer side effects due to the precision of beam delivery. In addition, the treatment sites in SRS are smaller and less healthy tissue comes into contact with the radiation.
Not every patient experiences side effects, but many patients feel tired following treatment. Most side effects of SRS are caused by brain swelling (edema).
Side Effects From Stereotactic Radiosurgery Include:
At Blue Ridge Radiation Oncology, our treatment team is happy to answer any questions you may have about short term and long term side effects of stereotactic radiosurgery.