Brain Metastasis Treatment Options
At Southeast Radiation Oncology Center, our goal is to provide our patients and their families with all the information they need to make an informed decision about cancer treatment. One of the conditions we treat is brain metastases, which occurs when cancer cells spread from a different area of the body to the brain. Depending on the exact nature of your condition when the metastasis is diagnosed, there are many different treatment options available:
Medication in the form of high-dose corticosteroids to reduce swelling around the area and to decrease neurological symptoms.Surgery is often used when the metastases are located in places that are accessible, and when they are small enough to be safely disentangled from surrounding tissue. It’s not always an option for brain metastasis.Whole-Brain Radiation provides therapy to the whole brain that prevents the growth and development of tumors while shrinking existing cancers. It usually involves 10 to 15 treatments over the course of a couple weeks, and side effects like nausea and fatigue are fairly common, but treatable with palliative medicine.Stereotactic Radiosurgery is a form of radiation that uses several beams that are individually not very powerful, but that converge on the tumor to pinpoint it and destroy it. This powerful treatment has fewer side effects than whole brain radiation.
Benefits of Stereotactic Radiosurgery
While whole-brain radiation and surgery have been top performing treatments for decades, stereotactic radiosurgery options are emerging as a contender for the most effective cancer treatment. That’s because the way the beams converge allows each one to be low powered enough to minimize the effects on the healthy tissues around the tumor, and that makes the side effects much less pronounced.
This tactic also speeds up the process of administering radiation therapy. Instead of needing several treatments over the course of weeks, the treatment typically takes just a single session. On top of that, it’s low enough on side effects that doctors can treat multiple tumors in a single day if necessary. This provides patients with much faster relief, lower pain, and better quality of life. It also provides patients with the chance to roll back the progress of metastatic tumors in multiple locations in a single try, making it more likely that they will receive a significant benefit from the therapy.
Studies on cancer survival over five years also show that this process is at least as effective as traditional surgery supported with radiation, and for some types of cancer, studies indicate stereotactic radiosurgery exceeds the effectiveness of surgery by a pretty wide margin. As with any treatment option, its effectiveness in each situation depends on a lot of factors outside the treatment itself, including patient health, tumor size and coexisting conditions. When you work with us, our team will base your treatment on your overall health and the big picture prognosis of your condition. That way, you can receive the individualized care that maximizes your outcomes.
Looking for Brain Metastasis Treatment in Juneau, AK?
If you’re looking for radiation therapy to treat brain metastases in Juneau, AK, Southeast Radiation Oncology Center is ready to assist you. Contact us today for more information, or to discuss our services and treatment options.