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Brain Cancer Radiation Treatment

In hyperfractionation, the patient receives smaller doses of radiation two or three times a day instead of one large amount once a day.
Stereotactic Radiation Treatment
In stereotactic radiation treatment, narrow beams of radiation are directed at the tumor from different angles. For this procedure, the patient will need to wear a rigid head frame. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan can create pictures of the tumor's exact location.
The doctor will use a computer to decide on the dose of radiation that is needed, as well as the sizes and angles of the radiation beams. This form of treatment may be given during a single visit or over several visits.
Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Treatment
In this treatment method, a computer is used to create a three-dimensional image of the tumor and nearby brain tissue. The doctor will aim multiple radiation beams to the exact shape of the tumor, and the precise focus of the radiation beams will protect normal brain tissue.
Proton Beam Radiation Treatment
With this treatment for brain cancer, the source of radiation is protons rather than x-rays. The doctor will aim the proton beams at the tumor, which will pass through healthy tissue without damaging it.

Side Effects of Brain Cancer Radiation Treatment

Side effects will depend on the dose of radiation and the part of the body that is treated. Common side effects of radiation treatment for brain cancer include:
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Hair loss
  • Skin changes
  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Learning disabilities
  • Slowed growth or development
  • Secondary tumors
  • Loss of life.
Nausea and Tiredness
Some patients will have nausea for several hours after treatment, and patients may become quite tired as treatment continues. Although resting is important, doctors usually advise patients to stay as active as they can.
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