Radiation therapy attempts to destroy tumor cells by using high-energy radiation focused onto the tumor to destroy the tumor cells' ability to function and replicate. Radiosurgery is a nonsurgical procedure that delivers a single high dose of precisely targeted radiation using highly focused gamma-ray or X-ray beams that converge on the specific area or areas of the brain where the tumor or other abnormality is located, minimizing the amount of radiation to healthy brain tissue. Equipment used to do radiosurgery varies in its radiation source; a gamma knife uses focused gamma rays, and a linear accelerator uses photons, while heavy-charged particle radiosurgery uses a proton beam. Tomotherapy is a type of radiotherapy in which radiation is delivered in a highly precise and individualized manner that minimizes radiation exposure to healthy tissue; it has also been used to treat brain cancer.
Primary skeletal tumors do not typically cause neurologic signs. Multilobular osteochondroma originates in the flat bones of the skull, usually in older medium- or large-breed dogs and appears as a firm, fixed mass. It may erode the cranium and compress, rather than infiltrate, underlying brain tissues. Radiographically, the tumor contains nodular or stippled areas of mineralization, resulting in a characteristic “popcorn ball” appearance. Local recurrence and metastasis are common. Vertebral osteochondroma is the spinal cord counterpart.
Brain cancer is a rare type of cancer, accounting for only about percent of all new cancer cases in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute. Here are five facts about brain cancer: