What Happens During Radiation Therapy Treatment?

The most common form of radiation therapy treatment for brain tumors is external beam therapy, which is commonly performed using a medical device known as a linear accelerator, also called a LINAC.

If you are considering radiation therapy, ask your doctor about the different options available that would achieve the desired results for your specific brain tumor and diagnosis. Certain external beam therapies are delivered on an outpatient basis, are non-invasive and therefore usually pain free, and take just minutes out of your day, so you can go in, get treated and get back to life.

Once radiation treatment is delivered, it takes time for the cancer cells to begin to die and they continue to die over weeks or months after the treatment is delivered. Follow-up appointments with your doctor will be necessary to assess if the treatment goals were met and if additional treatment is needed.

The patient is positioned on the treatment room couch and immobilized or kept still, with either a head frame that is attached to the patient’s skull or with a non-invasive mask. ‘Frameless’ procedures that utilize the non-invasive mask are becoming more common.

Once the patient is immobilized on the special treatment couch, the system rotates around the patient, from many different angles, delivering the cancer-fighting circular or tumor-shaped treatment beams where they’re needed. The treatment planning software and patient monitoring tools provide doctors with detailed information about the shape, size and position of the tumor. They also guide setup and positioning and monitor body and tumor motion during treatment.

Treatment Steps Overview

  • Application of the Patient Immobilization Device
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Image Transfer and Planning
  • Treatment
  • Follow up

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