The gamma knife's precision is enhanced by the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which provides a three-dimensional look at the area of concern within the brain. When coupled with modern computer dose-planning software, the gamma knife's working accuracy is considered to be 1 millimeter or less.
Not all tumors and brain abnormalities can be treated with the gamma knife. Dr. Pollock says he refers 30 percent to 40 percent of cases sent to him to surgery or outpatient radiation therapy. Dr. Pollock and his colleagues have found that, in general, patients with lesions larger than 35 millimeters aren?t good candidates for gamma knife treatment.
Pain Limits Physical and Social Functioning in Female Cancer Patients
A Mayo Clinic survey found that pain significantly affects the quality of life of female cancer patients by limiting their physical abilities and social activities.
Over 60 percent of a group of 107 women being treated for recurring breast and gynecologic cancers reported that pain interfered with their ability to function physically and socially.
"Pain is a prominent part of the lives of patients with recurrent cancer," says Dr. Teresa Rummans, a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist and study author. "Clearly pain limits one?s ability to pursue physical activities and exercise and diminishes social activities and contacts. Interventions to maintain both of these domains as long as possible may have a positive impact on the individual?s overall quality of life." The report was published in the journal Psychosomatics.