Facing a cancer diagnosis can be devastating, especially if the tumor you have is malignant. If you develop a glioblastoma, a very aggressive type of malignant cancer, skilled neurosurgeon Christopher Duma, MD, FACS, offers surgical treatment using the innovative Gamma Knife® radiosurgery technology.
Dr. Duma provides insight into your risk factors for glioblastomas and how you can increase your chances for recovery with radiosurgery.
An overview of glioblastomas
Glioblastomas are a cancerous type of tumor that grows quickly because abnormal blood vessels inside nourish it. In addition to the blood vessels, the tumor is made up of other types of cells, including astrocytic cells and dead cells.
A glioblastoma grows in areas surrounding your brain and can spread through corpus callosum, connective fibers that connect each side of your brain. Although these tumors can grow rapidly, it’s rare that they travel outside of your brain.
As you get older, your risk for glioblastomas increases, and you may develop this type of tumor because of underlying medical conditions or for no specific reason at all.
Signs you may have a glioblastoma
The warning signs of a glioblastoma typically develop suddenly and can worsen as your brain endures increased pressure from the fast-growing tumor.
In addition to sudden, severe headaches, you may also notice you struggle with your coordination and balance. Other common signs you may have a glioblastoma include:
- Memory difficulties
- Sensory changes
- Nausea and vomiting
For some, pressure on the brain from the tumor can trigger seizures. If you’re having unexplained seizures or unexpected memory issues, it’s important that you don’t delay an evaluation with Dr. Duma as soon as possible.
Initial treatment for glioblastomas
As the medical director for the brain tumor program at Hoag, Dr. Duma recommends surgical removal of 95-99% of the tumor before using the Gamma Knife or other technology.
During tumor removal surgery, Dr. Duma relies on 3D stereotactic guidance in a surgical theater with DTI mapping and ultrasound technology on tumor resections.
Dr. Duma says a full surgical debuting of the mass portends the best results for this disease and adds to the success of radiosurgery that follows.
Glioblastoma follow-up with Gamma Knife radiosurgery
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a cutting-edge technology that allows Dr. Duma to remove the glioblastoma and destroy the cells that extend beyond the tumor.
The Gamma Knife is a surgical tool similar to a scalpel. The knife delivers gamma radiation beams into the tumor and cancerous cells to destroy them without harming nearby tissue. When focused on a targeted area of tissue, the focused beam of gamma radiation becomes 200 times more powerful than an individual beam.
Dr. Duma performs Gamma Knife radiosurgery on an outpatient basis, and in most cases, you can expect to go home soon after your procedure to begin your recovery. You may not experience full relief of symptoms from a glioblastoma for several weeks or months, but you may notice a reduction in symptoms soon after treatment.
The many benefits of Gamma Knife radiosurgery
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is powerful enough to treat glioblastomas without the need for incisions. The gamma radiation beams pass safety through the surface of your skin, so you won’t need a long recovery to heal.
Dr. Duma can recommend Gamma Knife radiosurgery even if you can’t tolerate traditional open surgery because of your age or existing health. After a careful review of your medical history, he customizes a surgical plan to address your specific needs.
The radiosurgery technology is highly effective at destroying glioblastomas, and Dr. Duma can often achieve success in just one Gamma Knife radiosurgery treatment.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a glioblastoma or have signs of this type of cancerous brain tumor, schedule a consultation online or by calling the office of Christopher Duma, MD, FACS today.