Brain Tumour Survivor

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:40 pm 
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I am suffering from diffuse Astrocytoma brain tumor, grade II. The tumor has developed in the thinking side of my brain. Tumor is in the right thalamus of the brain. Doctors are saying surgery would be risky in my case as the tumor is quite deep inside.I am also being told that my survival rate is just 5 years. I want to know about the treatments available other than surgery. I have also heard about tomotherapy treatment which is an advanced version of radiation therapy. I want a complete removal of my tumor. I have even heard that most of the patients suffering from grade IV Astrocytoma (having survival time of 10-12 months) have got cured completely. Can anyone suggest me a complete cure?? I want to live longer. Please let me know asap about tomotherapy and other treatments availabIe. I would be thankful.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
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Location: Australia
Welcome to the site!

Unfortunately, it may depend on where you live. Generally the larger the city the more treatment options are available. If you have proton therapy this may be a good option especially if surgery is not worth the risk.

There are certain lower tech options that should not be ignored. Heat or cold applied to the area can kill tumour while protecting healthy cells. This should always be the aim - kill tumour while protecting heathly cells where possible.

Let's be clear there is no cure for brain tumours - that does not mean there is no hope. 30% of grade 2 patients survive 5 years. The key I believe is to think in terms of survival and not cures. A cure implies a magic bullet - nice in theory.

Now the good news. Surviving is about managing as many risk factors as you can to improve the quality of your life; which in itself improves prognosis. The people who survive tend to manage the risk factors well. There is a wealth of evidence, see the research section, that those who survive tend to do so by remaining positive and managing the risk factors.

I'll be the first to admit 1-2% get lucky. No matter what they do they tend survive. Think of smokers who live to 100 - very rare but it does happen. Medical advances help but they are not the whole story. There is acute medical intervention usually required, but I now believe that it is managing the chronic risks are as, if not more, important.

So please stay positive. Talk to loved ones. Laughing and hugs will help with this. Watch comedies - laugh and cry. Please don't put your hope in a cure - survive and thrive :)!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:03 pm 
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Sorry to hear about your diagnosis.

I hadn't heard anything about "Tomotherapy" so looked it up. I'm unclear as to how it varies to the more well known "stereotactic radiotherapy" which is targetted therapy guided by MRI and computer to target the tumour only etc). Stereotactic radiotherapy has been around for about 10 years now I think, although it may not be available in some country (regional) areas and you might need to go to the nearest city.

Also they still sometimes do the older fashioned "whole brain radiation" using the older tecnology in very advanced brain tumours that have spread extensively because they are no longer able to just map out a clear area where the tumour is so they are not suitable for stereotactic radiotherapy.

Having looked up TomoTherapy's website, I'm inclined to think that it's the same thing as "stereotactic radiotherapy" and "TomoTherapy" is a registered brand name for one company's equipment. You might consider going to see a radiation oncologist who has stereotactic radiotherapy equipment (this equipment is also guided by MRI scan & computer to identify the area of the tumour) and ask them about it and how it varies to Tomotherapy. You may find it's the same thing. I note on TomoTherapy's website, they say their equipment delivers "stereotactic radiotherapy" and talk about various cancers in the body not just brain tumours using the same technique.

Perhaps TomotherapyR like to use their own registered brand name rather than more generalised term "stereotactic radiotherapy" because they like to market their own equipment in preference to the same type of equipment made by other companies. Just be aware that if you source info from a particular companies website, that they are using the website to market their own equipment so some of these terms might not be quite clear if you're unfamilar with the type of technololgy they refer to rather than the brand name.

Again, best to talk to a radiation oncologist about this and also ask how "TomoTherapy" differs to "Stereotactic radiotherapy" if at all. They can also discuss their success rates with you although most use the 5 year mark as the benchmark eg. x% live longer than 5 years after undergoing this therapy. Remember that these are stats and there will be some people (or at least a certain percentage) that live longer than 5 years but they should have the stats on that if you're interested so don't give up hope.

Mary



TomoTherapy
http://www.tomotherapy.com/

http://www.tomotherapy.com/difference/whytomo/
Combining image-guided and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IG/IMRT), the Hi·Art treatment system brings greater precision, accuracy and assurance to cancer care. It also improves daily workflow for centers of all sizes.

http://www.tomotherapy.com/clinician/case_studies/
The TomoTherapy® Hi·Art® system delivers precise and effective stereotactic body radiation therapy


Stereotactic radiotherapy for brain tumours
http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk/type/brain-tumour/treatment/radiotherapy/stereotactic-radiotherapy-for-brain-tumours
Stereotactic radiotherapy is a relatively new type of treatment. It is not available at all hospitals. You have the treatment aimed at your tumour from many different points around your head. The beam is targeted very accurately. This means that less of your healthy brain tissue is exposed to radiation, so there are fewer side effects than with the usual type of radiotherapy.

What is this treatment used for?
Stereotactic radiotherapy can be used for secondary brain tumours, and gliomas that have come back since they were first treated. It can also be used for a number of benign brain tumours. It is not suitable as the main treatment for high grade brain tumours.


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