AboutKidsHealth

 

 

Radiation for brain tumoursRRadiation for brain tumoursRadiation for brain tumoursEnglishNeurology;OncologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BrainNervous systemNon-drug treatmentAdult (19+)NA2009-07-10T04:00:00ZEric Bouffet, MD, FRCPCUte Bartels, MD7.0000000000000064.00000000000001015.00000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>An in-depth discussion of radiation therapy for children suffering from brain tumours. Answers by Canadian Paediatric Hospitals.</p><p>Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy X-rays or gamma rays. These rays damage or destroy tumour cells. They cannot be seen or felt. Radiation therapy can help to treat or cure the tumour. The doctor who is responsible for radiation treatment is called a radiation oncologist. </p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul><li>Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy X-rays or gamma rays to destroy tumour cells.</li> <li>Before radiation begins, your child will have a special mask created and require a planning CT scan.</li> <li>Radiation is not dangerous for family members or friends; your child is not "radioactive."</li> <li>Side effects include fatigue, excessive sleepiness, hair loss, nausea or vomiting, and headaches.<br></li></ul>
Radiothérapie pour les tumeurs cérébralesRRadiothérapie pour les tumeurs cérébralesRadiation for low grade gliomasFrenchNeurology;OncologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BrainNervous systemNon-drug treatmentAdult (19+)NA2009-07-10T04:00:00ZEric Bouffet, MD, FRCPC Ute Bartels, MD7.0000000000000064.00000000000001015.00000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Discussion approfondie de la radiothérapie pour les enfants atteints de tumeurs cérébrales. Réponses des hôpitaux pédiatriques canadiens.</p><p>La radiothérapie fait appel à des radiographies à grande énergie ou des rayons gamma. Ces rayons endommagent ou détruisent les cellules tumorales. On ne peut pas les voir ou les sentir. La radiothérapie peut aider à traiter ou à guérir la tumeur. Le médecin responsable de la radiothérapie porte le titre de radio-oncologue.</p><h2>À retenir</h2> <ul><li>La radiothérapie fait appel à des radiographies de hautes énergies ou des rayons gamma afin de détruisent les cellules tumorales.</li> <li>Avant que la radiothérapie ne commence, votre enfant recevra un masque particulier créé sur mesure et aura besoin d’une tomodensitométrie pour la planification.</li> <li>La radiation n’est pas dangereuse pour les membres de votre famille ou les amis; votre enfant ne deviendra pas « radioactif ».</li> <li>Les effets indésirables comprennent de la fatigue, une somnolence excessive, la perte de cheveux, des nausées ou des vomissements ainsi que des céphalées.</li></ul>

 

 

Radiation for brain tumours1353.00000000000Radiation for brain tumoursRadiation for brain tumoursREnglishNeurology;OncologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BrainNervous systemNon-drug treatmentAdult (19+)NA2009-07-10T04:00:00ZEric Bouffet, MD, FRCPCUte Bartels, MD7.0000000000000064.00000000000001015.00000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>An in-depth discussion of radiation therapy for children suffering from brain tumours. Answers by Canadian Paediatric Hospitals.</p><p>Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy X-rays or gamma rays. These rays damage or destroy tumour cells. They cannot be seen or felt. Radiation therapy can help to treat or cure the tumour. The doctor who is responsible for radiation treatment is called a radiation oncologist. </p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul><li>Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy X-rays or gamma rays to destroy tumour cells.</li> <li>Before radiation begins, your child will have a special mask created and require a planning CT scan.</li> <li>Radiation is not dangerous for family members or friends; your child is not "radioactive."</li> <li>Side effects include fatigue, excessive sleepiness, hair loss, nausea or vomiting, and headaches.<br></li></ul><h2>How does radiation therapy work?</h2><p>The radiation beams affects the cell’s ability to grow and divide. Cells may die when they try to divide. The goal of radiation treatment is to deliver an effective dose of radiation to tumour cells, and avoid giving the radiation to normal cells. However, there may be some scattered radiation to normal cells. Fortunately, most normal cells recover from radiation more easily than tumour cells. </p><p>Radiation therapy is fractionated. This means that the total dose of radiation is given in separate small treatments, or fractions, each day from Monday to Friday over a period of weeks. The number of days of treatment needed depends on the total dose of radiation. The total dose is different for each type of tumour. </p><p>For high grade gliomas, the number of fractions is usually 30 to 33. However, some institutions may use specific techniques such as hyperfractionation (two fractions per day) or hypofractionation (less frequent with a high dose per fraction).</p><p>In the treatment of germinoma, a type of radiation called ventricular radiation is used. This is when radiation encompasses all the ventricles of the brain.</p><h2>Before radiation begins</h2><p>You will meet with the radiation oncology treatment team. This radiation team will include the radiation oncologist, nurse coordinator, and radiation therapist. They will examine your child and explain the treatment to you. You will find out the schedule of treatments, and possible side effects. </p><p>Remember to bring a pen and paper to write down any new information or questions you may have.</p><p>There are several more steps before radiation therapy begins. Your child will need a mask made to help them stay still during radiation and to mark the treatment area. After the mask is made, your child will have a planning CT scan. </p><h3>How is the mask made?</h3><p>The plastic mask will be made from a plaster mould of your child’s face, or by shaping warm plastic around their face. To comfort your child, you may wish to bring a toy or blanket. You can prepare them the day before by placing warm, wet washcloths over her face in the bath. This is similar to the feeling of the plaster or plastic. Tell them what will happen while the mask is being made. </p><ol><li> Your child will have to lie still while the plaster strips are put on their face. The plaster feels warm and wet, but it does not hurt. </li><li> When the plaster is hard and dry, it is ready to come off.</li><li> When the treatment schedule is complete, your child may be able to bring the mask home.</li><li> If your child is having radiation to the whole central nervous system, they will need to come back for another session to have a mask made of the back of their head. </li></ol><h2>What happens at the planning CT scan?</h2><p>The planning CT is done at the radiation hospital. Your child will have to lie still on a table on the CT table wearing her mask. The purpose of the CT scan is to find the best position for your child during treatment, and to determine the exact field of radiation. The CT scan will take about five to 10 minutes. The therapist will use a felt pen to make marks on the plastic mask. </p><h2>What happens during radiation therapy?</h2><p>You and your child will have to visit the radiation unit every day from Monday to Friday for several weeks. The radiation team will give you a schedule. </p><p>Radiation treatment is like having an X-ray. There is no pain. This is what your child will experience: </p><ol><li> Your child will lie down on a table and their mask will be put on their face.</li><li> The radiation therapist will make sure the marks on the mask line up with the machine settings. This can take 15 to 45 minutes.</li><li> Your child will wear Velcro seat belts for safety.</li><li> Once the child is ready, parents and therapists must leave the room.</li><li> You can see your child on a video TV monitor and you can speak to them. </li><li> The radiation treatment will begin. The machines may make clicking or whirring noises. The treatment will last less than five minutes. Most treatment is only one or two minutes. The treatment time depends on the radiation dose, and on the machine being used. </li></ol><p>During treatment, the radiation nurse and radiation therapists will be available for any questions or concerns you may have. The radiation oncologist will see your child once a week to see how she is doing, and to talk about any concerns or questions you may have. </p><h2>Is radiation therapy dangerous for family members or friends?</h2><p>No. The radiation will only affect the person who is having the treatment. The radiation is a form of energy, like heat or light, that goes away very quickly when the energy source is removed. Your child is not “radioactive.“ They can go to school and see her friends. </p><h2>How is radiation given?</h2><p>Radiation may be delivered to your child in one of several ways. This depends on your child 's age, and the type and location of the tumour. </p><h3>Conformal radiation</h3><p>This is the conventional approach to radiation therapy for children. It is also known as three-dimensional conformal radiation. Many children have this type of radiation. A computer simulation produces an accurate image of the tumour and nearby areas. Then, the radiation beams are shaped exactly to the contour of the tumour. Tissues nearby are spared from the radiation. </p><h3>Stereotactic radiation</h3><p>This technique involves the use of a carefully targeted, highly focused beam of radiation. This is a very precise technique where the radiation targets the tumour but not the surrounding normal brain tissue. </p><h3>Whole central nervous system (CNS) radiation</h3><p>Radiation is delivered to the whole brain and the spinal cord. It is also referred to as craniospinal radiation. This type of radiation is only given in children older than three years of age. CNS radiation may be used when the staging has shown a spread of the cancerous tumour cells to other parts of the brain or spine. This method is used to treat ependymomas, medulloblastomas, and rhabdoid tumours, </p><p>Whole CNS radiation is necessary because rhabdoid tumour cells and medulloblastoma cells are known to spread by the cerebrospinal fluid throughout the CNS, even if the metastasis has not been detected. Additionally, there will be radiation given to the tumour area and environment.</p><p>In children under three years of age, radiation is avoided as much as possible. Under certain circumstances, some techniques of radiation may be considered on a case by case basis.</p><h3>Ventricular radiation</h3><p>This type of radiation is delivered to all the ventricles of the brain. It is used in the treatment of germinomas.</p><h2>Side effects</h2><ul><li> fatigue: during or after radiation therapy </li><li> somnolence syndrome: a condition of excessive sleepiness </li><li> hair loss</li><li> nausea or vomiting </li><li> headaches</li></ul><p>For more information, see the page entitled "<a href="/Article?contentid=1347&language=English">Side Effects From Radiation</a>"</p><h2>What is informed choice or informed consent?</h2><p>Informed choice is the option a person has to allow or not allow something to happen, like diagnostic procedures or treatment, after they have been informed of the benefits and risks of the options involved. If the person agrees, they give informed consent. </p><p>The information that appears on this page has been modified from Handbook for Paediatric Radiation Therapy, written by Susan Awrey, RN, and Ann Griffith, RN </p>Radiation for brain tumours

Thank you to our sponsors

AboutKidsHealth is proud to partner with the following sponsors as they support our mission to improve the health and wellbeing of children in Canada and around the world by making accessible health care information available via the internet.