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What is brain radiation?

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Brain radiation refers to therapy used to treat brain tumors. With X-rays and other types of radiation, or light energy, doctors seek to kill cancer cells and stop a tumor's growth. Brain radiation therapy is most often used to destroy any leftover cancer cells after tumor removal surgery, notes Johns Hopkins Medicine.

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In addition to removing leftover cancer cells, radiation therapy is also a common treatment for people with brain cancer who are not candidates for surgery because of the tumor's location or other medical factors. Palliative radiation refers to the use of this therapy to alleviate symptoms, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Two common types of brain radiation include external beam radiation therapy and stereotactic radiosurgery, also known as fractionated radiosurgery. To provide optimal care, radiation oncologists collaborate with other professionals in the program to devise the best therapy program for each patient. This gives each patient the chance of getting the best results with the least damage to healthy tissue in the brain. X-rays and other imaging tests help doctors find the precise spot of the tumor. In some forms of radiation therapy, the technicians create a mask to make the treatment even more precise, as stated by Johns Hopkins Medicine.

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