What are the Effects of Brain Cancer Radiation Treatment on Tumors?
by Eric Smith
Doctors may treat brain tumors with radiation therapy by using X-rays or other high-energy particle beams to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy may be used independently or in combination with other forms of cancer treatment, such as surgery.
External Beam Radiation
According to the Mayo Clinic, external beam radiation therapy uses an energy producing machine outside of the body to focus radiation on a brain tumor. This form of treatment is used to destroy tumor cells before they have a chance to grow and spread.
Whole Brain Radiation
Whole brain radiation can be used to apply an external beam of energy into the entire brain that kills one or more brain tumors that cannot be removed with brain surgery.
Sterotactic radiosurgery is a form of radiation therapy that uses multiple beams of highly focused radiation to kill a small area of cancer cells in the brain. Radiosurgery is not a traditional form of brain surgery.
Radiation After Surgery
Radiation therapy may be used after brain surgery to kill remnants of brain tumors that were not removed during surgery.
Brain tumor patients may experience side effects after radiation therapy, including headaches, fatigue or nausea. Scalp irritation may also occur in patients who have undergone radiation therapy.