Delivering high doses of radiation with precision
For certain tumors in the brain, your healthcare provider may recommend a cutting-edge therapy offered at Goshen Center for Cancer Care. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a non-surgical radiation therapy that delivers a high dose of radiation in a single treatment without the need for surgery.
Your cancer team of medical, surgical and radiation oncologists and other specialists meet to discuss your diagnosis and review your treatment options. Your doctors will then meet with you and your family to discuss your personal goals and opinions. Since there are different ways to treat many cancers, your preferences are very important.
How stereotactic radiosurgery is delivered
To deliver radiation precisely, it is essential that you can hold completely still while being comfortable. To help with this, we create unique supports molded for your body. One appointment is dedicated to creating these supports, called simulation. To treat tumors in the brain a soft, plastic mask, called a thermoplastic mask, is created. If you are anxious about this process, your doctor may prescribe medications to allow you to better tolerate the mask.
Precise CT images are obtained and combined with other studies such as MRI scans or PET scans. We use this information and other complex computer calculations to map out a plan to treat the tumor while protecting the normal nearby parts of the body. Once your radiation oncologist approves the treatment plan, our physics team carefully reviews and conducts testing for quality and safety assurance.
Usually only one treatment is needed, but some tumors need up to five treatments. Treatment typically takes about half an hour, but it could be longer depending on your situation.
Stereotactic body radiotherapy
When stereotactic radiosurgery is used to treat tumors outside the brain, is it often called stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). Sometimes it is called stereotactic ablative radiation therapy (SABR). This treatment can be used to treat certain tumors in the lungs, liver, pancreas or near the spine. There are other parts of the body that can be treated this way too. Deciding which treatment is right for you requires a team approach.
How stereotactic body radiation therapy is delivered
At the time of simulation, unique supports are created to position you comfortably while limiting the motion of the tumor. For tumors in the lung, special CT imaging techniques are used to track how your tumor moves as you breathe. Other tumors require their own special imaging techniques. Images from other tests such as MRI scans and PET scans may be combined to plan your treatment.
The same type of detailed treatment planning and testing is performed as was described previously. Although some tumors outside the brain can be treated in one session, most of the time it takes up to five treatments to adequately treat your cancer while protecting the rest of your body. Each session usually takes about half an hour.
Our goal is to cure your cancer with the minimum of side effects. Stereotactic treatments often enable us to do this.
We can help
Whether you have just been diagnosed or you are looking for a second opinion, you can find help – and hope – here. Find out more about our approach to treating cancer. Call (888) 492-(HOPE) to talk with our oncology information.