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Stereotactic Gamma Ray Surgery For Benign Intracranial Tumors
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Stereotactic gamma ray surgery is used to treat benign (not cancer) intracranial tumors. Your brain is made up of neurons which transmit and receive nerve signals, and glial cells which keep neurons alive. Benign intracranial tumors are lumps of cells that can grow anywhere in your head. Benign tumor cells do not spread out from your head to other areas of your body. Tumors such as craniopharyngiomas and meningiomas can grow big, and damage tissues, blood vessels, and nerves around them. This can cause headaches, seizures (convulsions), problems with how you think, and trouble remembering things. You may also have trouble hearing, seeing, or feeling and moving some parts of your body. Gamma ray surgery can stop your tumors from growing bigger and damaging tissues around them.
- During stereotaxy, pictures of your brain are taken using special scans. During gamma ray surgery, x-ray beams cross at a single point to kill the tumor cells. Normal tissues near the tumor get little or no radiation. A head frame may be used to keep your head very still to help focus the beams. Benign brain tumors often need only one treatment session. With this treatment, your tumors may get smaller or go away, which may also make your signs and symptoms go away.
Take your medicine as directed:
Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.
Eat healthy foods:
Choose healthy foods from all the food groups every day. Include whole-grain bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, including dark green and orange vegetables. Include dairy products such as low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. Choose protein sources, such as lean beef and chicken, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. Ask how many servings of fats, oils, and sweets you should have each day, and if you need to be on a special diet.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You have a fever.
- You have dizziness, nausea (upset stomach), or vomiting (throwing up).
- You have chest pain or trouble breathing that is getting worse over time.
- You have questions or concerns about your treatment, condition, or care.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- Your face is getting numb, or you cannot move your arms or legs.
- You have a severe (very bad) headache that does not go away even after taking pain medicines.
- You have trouble seeing, talking, or thinking clearly.
- You passed out or had a seizure (convulsion).
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and have trouble breathing.
- You have new and sudden chest pain. You may have more pain when you take deep breaths or cough. You may cough up blood.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.