Brain tumors can be benign, or they may have various degrees of aggressive malignancy. Complete surgical removal of these tumors is often unsafe, due to their being adjacent to or intertwined with critical brain structures. In such cases, a total resection with curative intent may cause permanent disability.
As radiation treatment is less injurious than surgery to the normal brain tissues, irradiation is commonly used to treat brain tumors. In accordance with the specific tumor type, and as to whether the tumor had originated within the brain or had spread there from a cancer elsewhere in the body, the recommended radiation treatment course will differ. Primary malignant brain tumors will generally receive 6 to 7 weeks of treatment. Benign or less aggressive tumors will receive somewhat briefer courses.
Cancers from other parts of the body, such as lung or breast, can spread to the brain through the blood stream. Timely detection of these metastases and effective treatment is essential for relieving patients from neurological symptoms, pain and stress. When this problem is diagnosed, 2 to 3 weeks of treatment are often recommended. A single high-dose session (stereotactic radiosurgery), however, may be advised for treatment of a solitary or limited number of small metastases. Because of its precise CT-image guidance system, Tomotherapy equipment can be used with great accuracy to treat this entire range of brain tumors.
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