Sunday, March 3, 2024

Side Effects Of Radiation On Brain

If Youre Getting Radiation Therapy To The Abdomen

Vanna Dest Discusses the Side Effects of Brain Radiation

If you are getting radiation to your stomach or some part of the abdomen , you may have side effects such as:

Eating or avoiding certain foods can help with some of these problems, so diet planning is an important part of radiation treatment of the stomach or abdomen. Ask your cancer care team about what you can expect, and what medicines you should take to help relieve these problems. Check with your cancer care team about any home remedies or over-the-counter drugs youre thinking about using.

These problems should get better when treatment is over.

Managing nausea

Some people feel queasy for a few hours right after radiation therapy. If you have this problem, try not eating for a couple of hours before and after your treatment. You may handle the treatment better on an empty stomach. If the problem doesnt go away, ask your cancer care team about medicines to help prevent and treat nausea. Be sure to take the medicine exactly as you are told to do.

If you notice nausea before your treatment, try eating a bland snack, like toast or crackers, and try to relax as much as possible. See Nausea and Vomiting to get tips to help an upset stomach and learn more about how to manage these side effects.

Managing diarrhea

Many people have diarrhea at some point after starting radiation therapy to the abdomen. Your cancer care team may prescribe medicines or give you special instructions to help with the problem. Diet changes may also be recommended, such as:

What Is A Cyberknife

The first thing prostate cancer patients should know about ground-breaking CyberKnife Radiotherapy Treatment, is that it doesnt involve a knife or any surgical procedure. Patients rest on a manoeuvrable seat or table each fifteen seconds their x-rays are taken, as a robotic arm manoeuvres around them, accurately delivering beams of radiotherapy from numerous angles.

Traditionally, radiotherapy treatments allow for a small margin of error this is due to basic inaccuracies or unavoidable movements of the prostate or patient. The CyberKnife vastly reduces this margin of error, bringing it down from between five and fifteen millimetres to just two or less with this high level of precision.

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Liquid Radiation After Brain Tumor Surgery

Another radiation treatment is the GliaSite radiation therapy system developed at Johns Hopkins. It delivers radiation from within the hole created by the surgical removal of a malignant brain tumor. GliaSite RTS is used for newly diagnosed, metastatic and recurrent brain tumors.

A few days after surgical removal of the tumor, liquid radiation is delivered to the edges of the tumor hole through a catheter . The liquid radiation targets places in and around the tumor site where cancer cells may remain. It delivers a precise amount of radiation for a few days. Then the catheter is removed.

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What Is A Late Effect

A late effect is a side effect that is caused by cancer treatment but happens months to years after cancer treatment has finished. Some side effects that you develop during treatment can last for months to years after treatment is completed . These are called long-term side effects.

Late effects can be health issues or psychological, emotional, and practical challenges.

Definition Of Types Of Recurrences

" Whole Brain Radiation for Small Metastases Not Helpful"

The radiation field was defined as the tumour volume contained within the prescription dose. Tumour recurrence was defined as a progression of tumour volume within the initial radiation field, i.e. within the prescription dose. Out-of-field recurrence was defined as tumour progression immediately adjacent to the radiation field and hence outside the initial prescription isodose. The occurrence of a new meningioma was defined as a distant tumour unrelated to the radiation field.

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Potential Side Effects Of Cyberknife Treatment For Brain Cancer

Treatment with the CyberKnife System is well-tolerated with a low risk of toxicity. Side effects associated with CyberKnife treatment are usually mild and temporary. As with any radiation treatment, side effects can also be severe in some patients and lead to permanent injury or even death. Discuss your specific case with your physician/s to fully understand the potential risks associated with your treatment. Possible side effects could include but not limited to:

  • Increased intracranial pressure expressed by: Nausea

Things To Report Immediately

  • Pain in your back, which may move to the side. The pain may be worse when you lie down, cough, sneeze, or move.
  • Band-like pain that wraps around your chest and/or midsection
  • Numbness, tingling, or loss of feeling in toes or fingers
  • Weakness in your legs or a change in the way you walk
  • Change in your bowel or urinary habits, such as constipation or being unable to empty your bladder
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control

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How You Have Radiotherapy

You are usually admitted to hospital urgently for radiotherapy for spinal cord compression. You stay in hospital while you have the treatment.

You have the radiotherapy as a single treatment or a series of daily treatment sessions called fractions. Normally you have one a day. But occasionally you may have 2 fractions a day, for example, just before a weekend.

Whether you have a plastic mould made to keep you still while you have treatment depends on the part of the spine that has cancer. Youre likely to have a plastic mould made if the cancer is in the upper part of your spine.

Early Vs Late Side Effects

Gamma Knife vs. Whole-Brain Radiation | Side Effects and Treatment Time

Early side effects typically happen within weeks of starting radiation treatment. Many of these side effects improve once radiation treatment finishes. Early side effects may include fatigue, nausea, skin changes, and hair loss.

Late side effects may not appear until after your radiation treatment ends. For example, if you have radiation to your chest area, its possible to develop lung or heart disease months or years later. Its important to continue to follow up with your cancer care team to monitor for long-term effects.

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Fatigue And Mood Changes

Fatigue and mood changes are among the most common side effects of radiation therapy.

Fatigue has been reported in up to 90 percent of people with cancer treated with radiation. Many people undergoing radiation therapy find they need to prioritize rest or take time off from work. Fatigue is different from a feeling of tiredness, and it may build over time as you continue radiation treatment.

Scheduling time throughout the day for naps and exercising regularly are two strategies that may help you deal with your fatigue.

Many people find they may have more energy at certain times of day, so you may want to take this into account when planning your day.

Fatigue may last up to a year after treatment.

Mood changes may include irritability, depression, and anxiety. Hormonal imbalances caused by radiation therapy and psychological factors can both play a role in the development of mood changes.

How Can I Handle Fatigue

The fatigue you feel from cancer and radiation therapy is different from other times you may have felt tired. Itâs an exhaustion that doesnât get better with rest and can keep you from doing the things you normally do, like going to work or spending time with family and friends. It also can seem different from day to day, which makes it hard to plan around it. It can even change how well you’re able to follow your cancer treatment plan.

Let your doctor know if youâre struggling with fatigue. They might be able to help. There are also things you can do to feel better:

  • Take care of your health. Be sure you’re taking your medications the way you’re supposed to. Get plenty of rest, be as active as you can, and eat the right foods.
  • Work with a counselor or take a class at your cancer treatment center to learn ways to conserve energy, reduce stress, and keep yourself from focusing on the fatigue.
  • Save your energy for the activities that are most important to you. Tackle them first when youâre feeling up to it.
  • Keep a balance between rest and activities. Too much bed rest can make you more tired. But don’t over-schedule your days without giving yourself breaks.
  • Ask for help from family and friends. If fatigue is interfering with your job, talk with your boss or HR department and ask about taking some time off from work or making adjustments in your schedule.

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The Dropped Head Syndrome

The dropped head syndrome is a disabling condition caused by severe weakness of the neck extensor muscles causing progressive reducible kyphosis of the cervical spine and the inability to hold the head up . DHS can occur from 3 months to 30 years after RT.

Treatment with physiotherapy and surgery have not been very successful, and the management of DHS is supportive, including employing a cervical collar to maintain the head in an upright position . The condition generally does not spread to other muscles or worsens.

Alternating Electric Field Therapy

Side Effects Of Radiation Therapy To The Brain

This type of treatment uses a noninvasive portable device that interferes with the parts of a cell that are needed for tumor cells to grow and spread. It is given by placing electrodes that produce an electric field on the outside of a persons head. The available device is called Optune.

Alternating electrical field therapy may be an option for people newly diagnosed with glioblastoma or for those with recurrent glioblastoma. Researchers have found that people with recurrent glioblastoma who used the device lived as long as those who received chemotherapy. In addition, they had fewer side effects. Other research shows that people newly diagnosed with glioblastoma lived longer and were less likely to have the disease worsen when this treatment was used along with temozolomide after radiation therapy. This treatment approach is now considered a recommended option for glioblastoma.

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Discharge Instructions After Stereotactic Radiosurgery

If youre having stereotactic radiosurgery, youll need to follow special instructions.

  • Youll need to have a responsible care partner take you home after your treatment. Your doctor or nurse will tell you when you can drive.
  • Your care partner will need to stay with you for the first 24 hours after your treatment.
  • You can resume most of your activities the day after your treatment. Ask your doctor or nurse when you can resume vigorous exercise.

Whats The Outlook After Undergoing The Gamma Knife Procedure

The success of the Gamma Knife procedure depends on the size, location, type of lesion, your personal medical history, and other factors. Discuss your expectations and outlook with your neurosurgeon and your radiation oncologist before treatment.

The goal of Gamma Knife surgery is for the radiation to stabilize, shrink or destroy the tumor or lesion. Depending on your condition, you may or may not need additional Gamma Knife treatment or traditional now-more-manageable surgery. You will have follow-up CT and/or MRI scans to check on treatment progress.

It may take weeks, months, a year to see the full effects of treatment. For example, pain relief if you have trigeminal neuralgia can occur anytime between one day and six months, with most people improving within one month. Cancerous tumors typically become stable or get smaller over a period of weeks to months. Many noncancerous tumors stop growing immediately , but may not get smaller in size. Arteriovenous malformations may take two to three years to resolve after treatment.

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Radiotherapy For A Brain Tumour

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Radiotherapy uses high-energy rays to destroy tumour cells, while doing as little harm as possible to normal cells. Newer ways of giving radiotherapy to the brain are designed to limit the damage to healthy brain tissue.

You may have radiotherapy:

  • after surgery, if a tumour cannot be completely removed
  • after surgery, to reduce the risk of the tumour coming back
  • with chemotherapy, if you have a high-grade glioma
  • if a tumour comes back.

There are different types of radiotherapy. They can be used in different ways to treat a brain tumour. Your treatment is carefully planned by a radiotherapy team. This includes a clinical oncologist and radiographers, who are experts in giving radiotherapy treatment. Your team will explain your treatment plan, the dates and times of your appointments and what to expect.

Protecting Healthy Tissue Protecting Quality Of Life

Brain radiotherapy side effects | Cancer Research UK

Treatment with the CyberKnife System is well-tolerated with a low risk of toxicity. Despite the high dose rate associated with SRS, the CyberKnife System has been proven to deliver radiation with sub-millimeter precision, which means minimal radiation is delivered to the healthy brain tissues that surround the lesion or tumor1. This can significantly reduce the risk of the most common side effects of traditional radiation therapy, including fatigue and cognitive impairments to memory and concentration and can protect the sensitive tissues involved in important functions such as motor control, touching, hearing and vision. Most patients can quickly return to their daily routines with little interruption to their normal activities.

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What Are Possible Side Effects Of Radiation Therapy

The side effects of radiation therapy to the brain may not occur until two to three weeks after the start of your therapy. Many people experience hair loss, but the amount varies from person to person. Hair may grow back once therapy is finished.

Skin irritation is the second most frequently reported side effect. The skin around your ears and scalp may become dry, itchy, red, or tender. Do not try to treat this side effect on your own. Seek professionalism medical treatment as soon as it occurs. Fatigue is another possible side effect. The best way to fight fatigue is to get on a daily exercise regimen that is tolerable and sustainable, eat a healthy diet, and rely on friends and family for support. Your normal energy levels should return about six weeks after you finish your therapy. Fatigue may be the worst two to three weeks after you complete prolonged radiation treatment

Edema is also a common side effect. Tell your oncologist if you have a headache or a feeling of pressure. The doctor may prescribe medications to help reduce brain swelling, prevent seizures, or control pain. If you receive chemotherapy and radiation therapy at the same time, you may experience more severe side effects. Your doctor can suggest ways to ease these symptoms.

Other possible side effects include:

  • hearing problems

External Beam Radiation Therapy

There are several types of EBRT. The goal is to target the tumor and limit damage to nearby healthy brain cells. To limit the harm, your healthcare provider may use special types of EBRT such as:

Imaging tests will be done to see if the cancer has spread to other parts of your brain or spinal cord. If the cancer has spread, you may have radiation to your whole brain and spinal cord.

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Side Effects Of Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy to the brain can cause short term side effects such as tiredness and sickness. These side effects usually improve a few weeks after treatment. You may also have long term side effects which can continue for a lot longer and sometimes might be permanent.

These side effects vary from person to person. They also depend on what other treatment you are having. For example, your side effects could be worse if you are also having chemotherapy.

You may not have all of the effects mentioned. Side effects can include:

You might feel tired during your treatment. It tends to get worse as the treatment goes on. You might also feel weak and lack energy. Rest when you need to.

Tiredness can carry on for some weeks after the treatment has ended. But it usually improves gradually.

Various things can help you to reduce tiredness and cope with it, such as exercise. Some research has shown that taking gentle exercise can give you more energy. It’s important to balance exercise with resting.

Somnolence syndrome

In a few people, tiredness can become very severe within 5 to 6 weeks after the treatment finishes. This is called somnolence syndrome. You might also have other symptoms such as loss of appetite.

Somnolence syndrome is more common in children, but can also happen in adults. It doesn’t need treatment and gets better on its own over a few weeks.

Early And Late Effects Of Radiation Therapy

Alpha Beta And Gamma Radiation Effects On Humans
  • Early side effects happen during or shortly after treatment. These side effects tend to be short-term, mild, and treatable. Theyre usually gone within a few weeks after treatment ends. The most common early side effects are fatigue and skin changes. Other early side effects usually are related to the area being treated, such as hair loss and mouth problems when radiation treatment is given to this area.
  • Late side effects can take months or even years to develop. They can occur in any normal tissue in the body that has received radiation. The risk of late side effects depends on the area treated as well as the radiation dose that was used. Careful treatment planning can help avoid serious long-term side effects. Its always best to talk to your radiation oncologist about the risk of long-term side effects.

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If Treatment Does Not Work

Recovery from a brain tumor is not always possible. If the tumor cannot be cured or controlled, the disease may be called advanced or terminal.

This diagnosis is stressful, and for some people, an advanced brain tumor is difficult to discuss. However, it is important to have open and honest conversations with your health care team to express your feelings, preferences, and concerns. The health care team has special skills, experience, and knowledge to support patients and their families and is there to help. Making sure a person is physically comfortable, free from pain, and emotionally supported is extremely important.

People who have an advanced brain tumor and who are expected to live less than 6 months may want to consider hospice care. Hospice care is designed to provide the best possible quality of life for people who are near the end of life. You and your family are encouraged to talk with the health care team about hospice care options, which include hospice care at home, a special hospice center, or other health care locations. Nursing care and special equipment can make staying at home a workable option for many families. Learn more about advanced care planning.

After the death of a loved one, many people need support to help them cope with the loss. Learn more about grief and loss.

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