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Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Cancer

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Overview

This very precise form of radiation is used to treat brain tumors and other neurological conditions. With stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), the delivery of radiation is accurate within two millimeters. The non-surgical procedure delivers a very high dose of radiation, sometimes in a single treatment. The accuracy of the procedure enables the high dose because the oncologist is able to target the tumor while sparing surrounding, healthy tissue. SRS is an alternative to invasive surgery, especially for patients who are unable to have surgery.

While many patients may be good candidates for a single treatment, the physician may recommend multiple treatments for others. This is especially true of larger tumors because healthy tissue must be protected from the dose of radiation needed for successful treatment. Delivering the required radiation during the course of two to five treatments allows for high doses to be delivered to the tumor and the surrounding tissue to be preserved.

After treatment, patients may expect benign tumors to shrink during the course of two years or less. Malignant and metastatic tumors may shrink even more rapidly, sometimes as quickly as two months. Other tumors may stay stable and inactive rather than shrink, however the lack of growth benefits the patient and is considered a successful treatment.

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