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What Is Stereotactic Radiotherapy and How Is It Used?
Stereotactic Radiotherapy (SRT) is a form of radiation therapy using sophisticated computerized imaging to precisely target a narrow X-ray beam. It is used to treat a specific area of the body while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis, with radiation delivered in multiple smaller doses called fractions over a course of weeks. Stereotactic radiotherapy does not actually remove the tumor; rather, it destroys the DNA of tumor cells resulting in cell death.
The radiotherapy beam is targeted very accurately with this type of treatment, so it is vitally important that your head is in exactly the same position each time and does not move while you are being treated. To achieve this, a body mould or face mask will be made to keep your head in the proper position during treatment. This will be done on your initial visit. A computed tomography (CT) scan will be performed to show the exact location of the tumor in relation to the mask.
The CT Scan provides an image of the treatment area which is needed to create your treatment plan. A three-dimensional computer-aided treatment plan is created which minimizes the amount of radiation to healthy brain tissue. Treatment plans are created by the Radiation Oncologist, Neurosurgeon and physicist. After the CT Scan, an appointment for your first treatment will be scheduled within the next few days.
Delivery of Treatment
A team member will describe the treatment delivery and what to expect. There is no pain or discomfort from the actual treatment. The staff will be able to monitor you via a camera and intercom during the treatment. As soon as each treatment is over you can go home.