Stereotactic Gamma Ray Surgery For Malignant Intracranial Tumors

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

  • Stereotactic gamma ray surgery is used to treat intracranial tumors. Your brain is made up of glial cells and neurons which transmit and receive nerve signals. Malignant intracranial tumors are lumps of cancer cells that can grow anywhere inside your head. They include tumors inside the eye, such as a uveal melanoma, and tumors in your sinuses. Cancer cells can break off from the tumor and travel through blood or lymph vessels. They can spread to other parts of your body, and grow into new tumors. Cancer cells from other parts of your body can also spread to your head and grow into a tumor. These cells may come from tumors in your lungs, skin, breast, or kidneys.
    Brain


  • 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. You may need one or more treatment sessions. Gamma ray surgery can stop your tumors from growing bigger, and help prevent cancer cells from spreading. With this treatment, your tumors may get smaller or go away, and relieve your symptoms such as seizures and headaches.

INSTRUCTIONS:

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.

Ask your caregiver if and when you need to return for other gamma ray treatments. If you need other treatment sessions, you may be asked to return in one week. Be sure to go to your appointments on time.

Eating well with cancer and cancer treatment:

Good nutrition can:

  • help you feel better during treatment and decrease treatment side effects

  • decrease your risk of infection

  • help you have more energy and feel stronger

  • help you maintain a healthy weight and heal faster
Eat a variety of healthy foods to get the protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients that your body needs. You may need to change the foods you eat depending on your treatments and side effects. You also may need to eat more calories than usual. Work with a dietitian to plan the best meals and snacks for you. Ask if you should add vitamins to your diet.

Drinking liquids:

Drink extra liquids to avoid dehydration (loss of body fluid). You will also need to replace fluid if you are vomiting or have diarrhea from cancer treatments. Ask your caregiver which liquids to drink and how much you need each day.

CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:

  • You have a fever.

  • You have dizziness, nausea (upset stomach), or vomiting (throwing up).

  • 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 breathing, seeing, talking, or thinking clearly.

  • You passed out or had a seizure (convulsion).

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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.

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