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Benign Conditions


Radiation therapy is primarily used for treating malignant conditions (cancers) where cells are copying themselves and creating local groups of cells (tumors) that can spread to another part of the body (metastases).  The way radiation therapy works is it damages a cell's ability to divide, which eventually leads to the death of cancer cells and tumor shrinkage. This property, of stopping the growth of cells, can also be helpful in treating several non-cancerous diseases, which are called benign conditions

Some of the types of benign disease that are treated with radiation include:
 - Keloids
 - Heterotopic bone formation (extra bone formed after orthopedic surgeries)
 - Thyroid eye disease
 - Meningiomas (tumors involving lining of the brain)
 - Acoustic schwannomas (inner-ear tumors)
 - Trigeminal neuralgia (pain involving 5th cranial nerve)
 - Arterial venous malformations (blood vessel clusters)

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with one of the benign growths that are treated with radiation and would like to talk with a Coastal Radiation Oncologist, please click the link below

  • Typical Treatments

    Surgery is commonly used to remove benign growths from the body.  If these tumors come back or cannot be removed safely with surgery, radiation therapy is often used either on its own or in combination with removal of the growth. 

    A typical length of treatment for cancerous tumors is 5 to 7 weeks of treatment.  For benign disease, however, the treatments are often much shorter because a higher dose per day is used.  This ranges from as few as one or two treatments up to two to three weeks of treatment.

     

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  • What To Expect

    Once your doctors have have determined that radiation therapy is an appropriate treatment for your benign growth or condition, there will be a few steps to allow the radiation oncology team to begin treatment safely. 

     

    These include:

     

    - CT simulation (marking session; a mold or mask may be made)

    - Treatment plan design (dosimetry)

    - Plan testing and verification (medical physics review)

    - Start daily treatments

    - Weekly doctor visits with your radiation oncologist

  • Side Effects

    Many people do not develop significant side effects during radiation treatment.  If you are considering radiation therapy as part of your cancer treatment, it is important to know what side effects are possible so you can make a good decision about the treatment that is right for you.

    The side effects associated with radiation therapy for benign conditions depends on the location of the treatment.  If an area in the brain is being treated (acoustic neuroma or trigeminal neuralgia), then both short-term and/or long term symptoms affecting the brain (ex: headaches, nausea, vomiting, tiredness) would be possible.  If the area of the benign growth is on the hand or the upper leg, then the side effects that are possible would be for that area of the body (ex: skin changes, itching skin, possible joint stiffness). 

  • More Information

    For more information on the use of radiation therapy for benign disease, please access the following Clinical Oncology journal article by clicking on the link below:

     

    https://www.clinicaloncologyonline.net/article/S0936-6555(15)00033-3/pdf

Coastal Radiation Oncology Medical Center

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