Cranial and Brain Tumors Screening and Treatment
What Happens During the Screening and Treatment Process for Brain Tumors Using CyberKnife?
Brain Tumor Pretreatment
The CyberKnife System at Capital Health involves a team approach to treat your brain cancer. This team involves several specialists who participate in the preparation, treatment and follow-ups during the process. A team usually includes:
- a radiation oncologist,
- a medical physicist,
- a radiation therapist, and
- medical support staff (e.g., nurse, nutritionist, etc.)
The process begins with our CyberKnife program coordinator, who will help you schedule your screening dates and times based on what’s convenient for you.
A plastic mesh mask will be made before treatment begins to help hold your head in position during treatment and a detailed planning CT scan will be performed with your mask on. Unlike the early stereotactic radiation treatment, a head frame is NOT necessary for CyberKnife treatment. You may also require an MRI scan during this planning stage. The MRI scan will be aligned with the CT scan to develop your treatment plan.
The imaging, treatment planning, and first treatment may be spread out over multiple days. Please be assured that our specially trained CyberKnife team will review every step with you along the way.
Brain Tumor Treatment
Once you begin your treatment, you may have up to five treatments over the span of 1 or 1 1/2 weeks. During treatment, you will lie down on your back and the mask will be placed over your head. You may be given a mild sedative to make you more comfortable and relaxed. X-ray images will be taken to ensure that you are in proper position, and then the treatment will begin.
Your radiation therapist will monitor you at all times from outside the treatment room. Your therapist can easily communicate with you via speakerphone should you need anything during your treatment. The robotic arm will move around you to aim at the targeted treatment site from a hundred or several hundred directions.
Your head won't have to remain perfectly still during treatment. X-ray images taken every minute or so will detect any small movements of your head and the robot will correct for these small movements to ensure accuracy throughout the treatment. The treatment should last no more than two hours.