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Stereotactic Gamma Ray Surgery for Extracranial Lesions and Tumors
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Stereotactic gamma ray surgery is used to treat lesions and tumors (lumps) that grow outside your head. They are abnormal cells that grow anywhere in your body, such as your lungs, liver, spine, pancreas, kidneys, and prostate. They can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancerous). Tumors can grow big, and damage tissues, organs, blood vessels, and nerves around them. This can make your organs stop working and cause problems with how your body systems work. You may lose lots of weight, get very weak, have trouble breathing, and have pain in your organs.
- Stereotaxy makes use of special scans to take pictures of your body. These pictures will clearly show the shape and location of your tumor. 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. You may have one treatment using high energy beams, or many treatments using weaker beams. You and your caregiver will work together to find which is best for you. With this treatment, your tumors may stop growing, get smaller, or go away. This may help ease your symptoms and stop your tumors from spreading to other parts of your body.
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.
Follow-up visit information:
Keep all of your appointments. Ask your caregiver if and when you need to return for more gamma ray treatments. If you need other treatment sessions, you may be asked to return in one week. Write down any questions you may have. This way you will remember to ask these questions during your next visit.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You have a fever.
- You feel that there is a change in how you feel and move parts of your body.
- 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 symptoms such as pain and trouble moving come back.
- 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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