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Brain Cancer Radiation

Brain cancer radiation therapy is an advanced process which is used to destroy the cancer cells that invade brain. When the brain cells get infected by cancer they lose their potential to perform their regular and routine activities. This leads to malfunctioning of the entire neurological system and eventually treatment becomes indispensable. Despite the associated fatalities, early detection of the brain cancer gets missed in many cases.  

Radiation therapy is suggested to patients of brain cancer with the objective of eliminating maximum affected cells along with protection of the healthy ones.  

Procedure for treatment: 

One of the most popular types of radiation therapy for brain cancer treatment is the external therapy. Under this method the radiation machine is actually used only on the superficial surface of patient’s brain. Powerful X-rays are externally emitted on the affected area. The success rate of this type of radiation is quite high and there have been proven results in its favour. Besides brain tumours, such radiation therapy is also relevantly used for treating prostate and bladder cancer patients. This treatment is done in outpatient department and does not necessarily require admission in the hospital.  Under the external radiation there are two more sub types, depending upon the technology being used. They are – Intra-operative and prophylactic brain cancer radiation therapies. 

The other treatment for brain cancer is the internal radiation where an implant is used instead of a machine. The implant that is inserted in the body of the patient holds the radioactive materials. This implant destroys the cancer cells and hinders its proliferation. The implant starts acting immediately and directly on the cancer affected cells in such way that the immediate healthy cells remain unexposed to the direct radiation. Internal radiation therapy also has two sub types namely Interstitial Radiation and Intracavitary Radiation. Since radioactive substance can travel to a short distance only, this reduces the impact of the radiation on the healthy cells. 

Sub processes of Brain Cancer Radiation Therapy 

Hyperfractionation – In this process the patient is given lesser radiation doses two to three times in a day.   

Stereotactic Radiation Treatment – In this process narrow radiation beams are focused at the tumour from varied angles. The patient is made to wear a strong head frame and radiation beams are angled after deriving exact location of tumour through MRI or CT scan.   

3D Conformal Radiation Treatment - In this radiation process a 3D image of tumour and its surrounding brain tissues is created with the help of computer. After this the doctor precisely aims several radiation beams towards the exact tumour, thus protecting the normal tissues. 

Proton Beam Radiation Treatment – This radiation process involves usage of proton rays instead of usual X-rays.   

Fractionation – This radiation process is administered five continuous days for few weeks.   

After effects: 

Radiation therapy has proven to be successful in 9 out of 10 brain cancer cases. Some of the most common symptoms of radiation therapy are - hair loss, loss of appetite, nausea and skin darkening. They are very menial in nature and tend subside over a period of time.