Myrle’s Story: Diagnosis Brain Meningioma
At 79 years old, Myrle is not your typical senior. She retired from the financial planning business at 74. After three years of volunteer work, she decided to dive back into the job market, joining Prosperity Mortgage, a Wells Fargo joint venture, at the age of 77. The job had Myrle traveling throughout Delaware and nearby New Jersey and Pennsylvania, counseling other senior citizens about reverse mortgages.
It was during this time, the fall of 2009, that Myrle started experiencing extremely painful headaches. Myrle has suffered from migraines all her life, but these headaches were different. She paid a visit to her doctor who suggested she get an MRI. The MRI revealed a tumor, a meningioma, located in her brain.
Myrle had a few options. She could undergo conventional surgery, but surgery carried some major risks including seizures and vision problems. She could also take the wait-and-see approach, but leaving the tumor untreated made Myrle uneasy. So she decided to undergo treatment using the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System.
This outpatient, non-invasive procedure uses targeted beams of radiation to destroy tumors. CyberKnife radiosurgery would allow for the doctors to deliver the radiation to Myrle’s tumor while avoiding her normal brain tissue to minimize the chance of side effects. Myrle underwent three, half-hour CyberKnife treatments in August 2009.
“It was relaxing,” said Myrle. “I just laid on the table and listened to some nice music while the technicians kept track of my treatment.”
Myrle didn’t experience any side effects during her treatments. After each treatment, she left the hospital and went about her usual day, never missing a beat.
As of Jan. 2011, Myrle’s tumor is stable. It hasn’t grown, and her doctors expect it will begin to shrink over time. She no longer experiences those excruciating headaches and has been able to focus on her active life.
After a year of consulting and being on the road, Myrle decided to take a break and become a freelance writer. She spends her time reporting for a Delaware magazine aimed at seniors and writing white papers, grant proposals, and website content for local businesses. In her spare time, Myrle hopes to start her first novel.
What is a Meningioma?
Meningiomas are the most common kind of brain tumor accounting for 30 percent of all brain tumors.
While a brain tumor diagnosis is frightening, 90% of meningiomas are benign and are treatable, including non-invasively.
Meningiomas develop from the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord.
While they tend to grow slowly over months or years, they can become large, crowding the brain and cause life-threatening complications.
What are the symptoms of meningiomas?
Small meningiomas may not cause any symptoms and are often accidentally discovered while being examined for other problems, such as a head injury.
However as they grow they can cause pressure inside the skull causing headaches, nausea, vomiting, vision, motor & speech problems and seizures.
Fortunately There are Treatment Options for Meningioma in Miami:
Some doctors may recommend microsurgery to remove meningiomas, however that’s riskier than non-invasive radiation therapy like CyberKnife.
CyberKnife’s High Success Rate Treating Meningiomas Non-invasively:
The success rate for treating brain or spine meningiomas with CyberKnife Stereotactic Radiosurgery is very high.
In fact, about 95 percent of meningiomas stop growing after one treatment or a small series of treatments.
A major advantage to CyberKnife is that it’s non-invasive and doesn’t require a metal frame to be screwed into the patient’s skull to perform treatment like with the Gamma Knife.
Another advantage of CyberKnife therapy is the ability to deliver treatment in one to five sessions, which makes it possible to more safely treat some meningiomas that are larger or located next to critical structures like the optic nerve.
The CyberKnife uses highly focused and precisely aimed radiation beams that destroy the tumor while sparing surrounding healthy tissue.
The CyberKnife will move slowly around you during treatment. You won’t feel a thing. It’s completely pain free.
Patients dress comfortably in their own clothes and can bring music to listen to during the treatment. Nothing will be required of the patient during the treatment, except to relax. In fact, patients often sleep through the treatment.
If patients have symptoms like headaches, double vision, seizures, or other symptoms, these likely will improve after CyberKnife, though improvements typically take several months or longer in some cases.
At the CyberKnife Center of Miami we understand that the diagnosis and treatment of a meningioma may be a very emotional experience for you and your loved ones.
That’s why our medical team takes every precaution to put your mind at ease. We will explain the treatment process every step of the way and the benefits so you know exactly what to expect.
If you have been told you have a Meningioma, you owe it to yourself to contact CyberKnife Miami to see if you might be a candidate for CyberKnife Radiation Therapy. Call us today at 305-279-2900 or 1-800-204-0455.
Here’s the link to our website for more info on Noninvasive Meningioma Treatment