Brain and Spine Care
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This year, more than 23,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with brain and spinal cord tumors. Brain tumors can be primary, which starts within the brain, or metastatic, which happens when the cells travel from another part of the body.
As it grows, a tumor can press on areas of the brain and prevent it from functioning properly. When faced with this frightening diagnosis, most patients are worried about their prognosis and how it will affect their loved ones.
Even when faced with a daunting diagnosis, patients can find hope in local, skilled treatment. Kettering Health’s Brain & Spine team is dedicated to treating patients using the latest technology advancements and a personalized approach. The goal is to help keep patients more comfortable by having someone available to answer questions and help alleviate fear. The comprehensive approach helps care for the patient and his or her family and loved ones.
Advanced treatment options
“Treatment includes surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy, individually or a combination of these,” explains Dr. Peter Bouz, a neurosurgeon with Kettering Health. “We work with major academic centers and participate in research and clinical trials for the most advanced treatment options for patients.”
Treatment begins with having a clear picture of the tumor. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging gives the surgeon more detailed information on certain tumors than MRI alone. From there, more precise procedures can be done.
For radiation treatment, several options are available, including external beam radiation (EBR) and Gamma Knife. Gamma Knife provides a precise, high-energy concentration of radiation to the tumor within the brain without harming the surrounding tissue. Small tumors might be treated without surgery using this procedure.
In some cases, minimally invasive surgery removes a smaller brain tumor, sometimes through a small incision in the eyebrow. Large, aggressive tumors can be removed using endoscopic surgery. A light and a camera are passed through the nose for skull-based tumor removal.
Some surgeries are performed while patients are awake so the surgeons can talk to them and monitor brain function. For situations where the tumor is deep, a minimally invasive approach is best, laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) may be performed, essentially burning the tumor.
Ongoing support for patient and family
Recognizing that dealing with a brain tumor impacts a patient’s entire family, Kettering Health provides complete support throughout the patient experience. Marilyn Reed is a neuroscience nurse specialist and tumor program coordinator at Kettering Health Main Campus. “When a patient enters the system, we help them navigate the entire process,” she explained.
For more than a decade, Reed has led the Southwest Ohio Brain Tumor Support Group. The group offers patients, families, and loved ones a nurturing environment to share their experiences coping with brain tumors.
The support group meets on the second Monday of every month from 7-8:30 p.m. on the ground level of Kettering Health Main Campus. Occasionally, a guest speaker is featured, and participants can expect insight into treatment, research, and recovery. Call (937) 395-8206 for more information on the support group and its meetings.
If you’d like more information about the advanced treatment for brain tumors, learn more here, or call 1-844-211-5482.
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