When cancer has spread to the brain from another part of the body (known as brain metastases), sparing the healthy areas of the brain from radiation side effects is just as important to patients as finding the right treatment. Luckily, patients who choose Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery don’t have to choose between treating their tumors and maintaining optimal brain function.
Using advanced computer planning to pinpoint the location of the tumor, Gamma Knife uses precise beams of radiation to shrink or destroy brain tumors, often in a single treatment session. The tumors receive all the radiation, while the healthy parts of the brain go relatively untouched.
Side effects that result from Gamma Knife treatment are usually temporary and include mild nausea, headaches and scalp irritation or tenderness. Because the radiation avoids the healthy areas of the brain, there’s little or no risk of damage to a patient’s memory, coordination or speech.
Other types of radiation for brain metastases, however, pose bigger risks to the brain. Whole-brain radiation side effects, for example, may include memory loss, lack of coordination and language difficulties, in addition to other effects like headaches, nausea and hair loss.
Learn more about the benefits of Gamma Knife treatment for brain metastases, or contact our Nurse Navigator today to request a consultation.