Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy to the brain is the mainstay treatment for primary and metastatic brain tumors. Due to the high incidence of cancer relapse in the brain, prophylactic brain irradiation is widely used in patients with lung cancer and acute leukemia. Cognitive domains impaired as a result of radiation therapy include information processing speed, executive functions, memory, sustained attention, and motor coordination. Anatomically, periventricular white matter hyperintensities are observed on neuroimaging. The pattern of deficits is consistent with those seen in other subcortical diseases of white matter such as multiple sclerosis. Children are particularly vulnerable to radiation injury to the brain. Even relatively low-dose cranial irradiation can cause mild declines in intelligence in older children, with more severe impairments in memory, acquisition of academic skills, and attentional skills in children treated before age 5. In both adults and children there is conflicting evidence whether concomitant chemotherapy is synergistically toxic. Finally, many patients with head and neck cancers, such as paranasal sinus tumors and anterior skull base tumors, receive local radiation that incidentally injures the brain.

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

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