Brain Disorders and Cancer
Gamma Knife is a precise and powerful therapy proven to treat brain disorders. At Palm Beach Health Network, it is a highly developed treatment for brain tumors, skull base tumors, and other brain disorders.
Gamma Knife therapy does not involve surgery. Instead, it focuses 201 precise beams of radiation directly on the tumor. Individually, the beams are too weak to damage healthy tissue. Together, they converge to deliver powerful treatment to a single point.
To establish the target for the radiation, physicians create detailed maps of the brain using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) or angiography. They then determine the precise amount of radiation needed to treat the cancer.
The Advantage to Patients
There are many advantages to Gamma Knife therapy:
- Precision: The customized dose of radiation targets only the diseased tissue, leaving the surrounding healthy tissue intact.
- Safety: Patients generally require only local anesthesia and mild sedation; there are no incisions and reduced risk of infection, and other possible complications that come with cutting into the skull and exposing the brain.
- Effectiveness: It offers new hope to patients with deep-seated brain lesions or skull base tumors once considered inoperable; usually only one treatment is required.
- Technologically Advanced: The Gamma Knife® is robotically controlled and designed to allow surgeons to deliver precise radiation, safely and faster.
What Can Be Treated
The Gamma Knife has been an advanced way to treat brain tumors, abnormal blood vessels, and neurological disorders for over 30 years.
The most common conditions treated at Palm Beach Health Network include:
- Metastatic brain tumors – tumors that spread to the brain from cancers in other sites of the body (e.g. breast cancer, lung cancer, melanoma, etc.)
- Primary brain tumors – including cancerous tumors (gliomas) and benign tumors (menigiomas and acoustic schwanomas)
- Trigeminal neuralgia – a condition of severe facial pain