Learn from Patients, Doctors and Nurses

A HIGH DOSE OF EVIDENCE

More studies have been done on Gamma Knife® than all other stereotactic
radiosurgery systems combined. Over 300 centers worldwide prefer
Gamma Knife for brain radiosurgery.

CARLA M.

Trigeminal Neuralgia

After Suffering for Years,
Carla Finally Finds Relief.
 

“I was introduced to Gamma Knife when I developed a pain in the right side of my face that I thought was a toothache.”

Because she is taking care of two grandchildren, the last thing Carla had time for is pain, especially when it’s excruciating and debilitating. She described her pain as a sharp and jabbing electrical current running through her face.

 
 
 

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Before Gamma Knife, Carla was taking 6 pills a day and still experiencing severe pain. After only 5 months since surgery, Carla is feeling remarkably better.

After Suffering for Years, Carla Finally Finds Relief with Gamma Knife Radiosurgery.

Taking care of two grandchildren, the last thing Carla has time for, especially when it’s excruciating and debilitating, is pain. She described her pain as a sharp and jabbing electrical current running through her face. She says before Gamma Knife treatment the pain in her face could be triggered by anything from brushing her teeth to saying a word involving the letters “b” or ”p”. Often even thinking about the pain would trigger it.

For Carla, the real challenge was getting to the correct diagnoses. Like many people suffering with the debilitating pain of Trigeminal Neuralgia, she mistook her condition as originating from her teeth. She went as far as having two teeth extracted, a common occurrence with Trigeminal Neuralgia sufferers. Unfortunately, the pain persisted.

As a result of an unfortunate car accident in 2011, in which she was hospitalized, Carla was given an MRI that revealed she has Multiple Sclerosis. This discovery soon lead to her team of doctors diagnosing Trigeminal Neuralgia as the cause of her face pain. Her neurologist prescribed medication that would suppress the pain briefly. As her pain persisted and worsened she would be prescribed higher and higher dosages, until eventually, the meds were useless.

That’s when she was introduced to Gamma Knife as a viable solution. She was told that this single day, non-evasive procedure could drastically reduce, if not totally end her pain. The team at South Sound Gamma Knife at St. Josephs in Tacoma, WA prepared her for the procedure. “I was a bit nervous about being confined, however the staff were all very supportive before, during and after the procedure. They explained elaborately what to expect so there were no surprises leaving little for me to feel anxious about. In fact, they even made me laugh.”

During the day of surgery, Carla checked in and got fitted for the head frame, had an MRI taken to determine the exact location for treatment and received the procedure. She understood it could take a few months for treatment to take affect.

Before Gamma Knife, she was taking 6 pills a day and still experiencing severe pain. After only 5 months since surgery, Carla is feeling remarkably better and her medications are down to two pills per day with little or no pain.

 
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MARY W.

Brain Metastases

Gamma Knife was the
miracle Mary hoped for.
 

"It’s as if the movies and comic books of the 1950s foreshadowed today’s medicine. Remember when you were in awe of the futuristic robots and technology?” That’s how Mary describes her experience with Gamma Knife.

After having experienced so many drugs and invasive procedures, Gamma Knife was the miracle Mary hoped for! One simple treatment to stop the cancer in her brain from growing.

 
 
 

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“After having experienced so many drugs and invasive procedures, Gamma Knife was the miracle she’d hoped for! One treatment to stop the cancer from growing.”

There’s Just Something Sweet and Special About Mary.

“It’s as if the movies and comic books of the 1950s foreshadowed today’s medicine. Remember when you were in awe of the futuristic robots and technology?” That’s how Mary describes her experience with Gamma Knife®. “The technology is simply amazing. When I got my head frame fitted and they put this plastic bubble around my head, the robot image was immediately what I pictured in my mind. It was so sci-fi.” Mary’s journey with cancer dates back to January 2006 when a routine breast exam revealed an aggressive form of breast cancer. She underwent a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and was prescribed a litany of medications.

The goal was to be cancer free for five years. However, in her 4th year of recovery, Mary faced cancer again. A ductal carcinoma that had formed in the milk duct of her breast required a double mastectomy. Mary hoped this would be the end of her cancer. Unfortunately, Mary would learn the cancer had metastasized to her liver and lungs. Drugs were prescribed and eventually the lung tumors disappeared and the liver tumors shrunk.

In 2014, Mary noticed her mind becoming hazy. She had a brain scan, which indicated cancer in the lining of her brain. To treat the lining of her brain would require whole brain radiation, which frightened her. Would she still be the same? How might she change? Bravely, she underwent the procedure and tests revealed the cancer was gone.

For the brain metastases, she was introduce to Gamma Knife® radiosurgery. She learned it was a highly effective form of radiation delivered by up to 201 low-dose beams that on their own are harmless. However, at the point of convergence they were powerful in killing tumors. Being familiar with the idea of a magnifying glass to burn things, having raised 3 boys, Mary had an understanding of the principle of Gamma Knife.

After having experienced so many drugs and invasive procedures, Gamma Knife® was the miracle she’d hoped for! One treatment to stop the cancer from growing. Gamma Knife® can target multiple tumors at once and if more appear, treatment can be prescribed again.

Today, according to Mary she is progressing exponentially, which is a joy a for all those who know this loving, warm and gracious friend and mother. She is grateful for the medical breakthroughs that are helping her and so many people like her manage cancer for years.

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From BMX to Gamma Knife surgery
and back – Josh Perry’s story

My name is Josh Perry. My passions in life are being a professional BMX athlete and learning about food and its role in health and quality of life. I also love inspiring others to take control of their nutrition and lifestyle choices to lead a healthier and happier life.
My story has an interesting trajectory – from BMX bike rider to brain surgery to remove a tumor, to Gamma Knife radiosurgery to treat a recurrence and full circle back to BMX bike rider, with the addition of a career as a Certified Holistic Health Coach.
 
 
BMX RIDER
JOSH
PERRY
BLOG

Josh shares how to
develop a healthy lifestyle
for improved wellness
and happiness.

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In April of 2015,
Josh launched www.DailyBrainstorms.com to share his story and passion with the world.

 

My Life Almost Ended From a Brain Tumor.

Ever since I first saw X Games on television, all I wanted to do was ride BMX bikes. Once I got my first BMX bike I was hooked. I realized my dream of becoming a professional BMX athlete. I got to see the places we learned about in school (e.g., entertaining troops in Iraq) and experienced different cultures. It was a 180-degree shift in my views of life and what we take for granted in developed societies, like clean running water. The sense that we often take the good things in life for granted would be amplified 100-fold in 2010.

 

"You have a brain Tumor"

One day in 2010, I hit my head while riding and had to get an MRI scan. What the doctors told me would change my life forever: “You have a brain tumor.” After the lesion was removed it was discovered that it was a meningioma, a benign tumor that nonetheless was occupying space in the left side of my brain and pushing down on my optic nerve, eventually causing intense headaches and affecting my vision.

 

The news was devastating. I had finally reached my goal as a professional BMX athlete. I remember thinking: “Who do I tell? What do I do with my things and money? Do any of these things even matter? Am I going to be alive long enough to do anything else? Will I ever get to ride my bike again?”  

 

On April 16, 2010, after a six-hour surgery, my brain surgeon successfully removed the meningioma and I woke up pain-free with a smile on my face. I could see, hear, smell, talk and move. I was 21-years-old – and I was going to live!

 

Despite some challenges, my recovery went well and  with the support of my family and friends  I improved over time and resumed my BMX career. Little did I know then that very soon I would once again need to tap into that support and into my personal reserves of courage.

 

New targets, different therapy

In November 2012, a little over two years after my open brain surgery, I had an MRI scan as part of my yearly checkup. The results were nearly as demoralizing as the first time – doctors told me there were two small tumors that had grown at the site of the original tumor. I had experienced no symptoms – no indications at all that the same disease was coming back. The physicians spoke to me of various options, none of which seemed very appealing, particularly whole brain radiation or open surgery. My then girlfriend, Charlotte, and I decided to do some Internet research and we found something called Gamma Knife radiosurgery.

 

I had never heard of Gamma Knife radiosurgery, but the Internet was full of information about it and it seemed like a better alternative than opening my skull again for open surgery. I was psyched and learned as much as I could about it. Obviously, I was a bit nervous about having radiation in general, but as I discovered more facts about Gamma Knife radiosurgery my concerns began to lessen.

 

 

My brain surgeon agreed that Gamma Knife radiosurgery would be the best treatment. He said that another surgery wasn’t a good option because the tumors were located on or near a main artery it would be very unlikely, due to the risk, that they could remove all of the tumor. I trusted their judgement completely and decided to have Gamma Knife radiosurgery.

 

On the day of treatment, the doctors put a weird-looking (stereotactic) head frame on my skull – I was thinking to myself: “Wow. Are they really going to do that me?” As it turns out, it wasn’t all that bad and I didn’t feel a thing as they were putting the frame on because they numbed up parts of my scalp. The actual treatment was easy – it was like getting an MRI scan, but shorter. I went in and out of the tunnel (collimator helmet) three times for different lengths of time. The treatment was painless and quick.

 

I was BMX riding within a week after treatment and didn’t have any side effects from the radiosurgery, which was a big relief. My first checkup showed that there was no further growth of the tumors, and the next scan revealed that the two tumors were actually decreasing in size.

Never take your life or health for granted

 

Despite the challenges of my brain tumor experience, it taught me an invaluable lesson: Just because I am young and athletic doesn’t mean nothing bad can’t happen to me. Life and health are precious and you can’t take them for granted. This new mindset led me to think more and more about healthy living, and more specifically, healthy life choices, healthy nutrition and a positive mental attitude.

 

In February 2014, I enrolled in the world’s largest nutrition program, the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. A year later, I completed the program to earn a certification as a Holistic Health Coach, enabling me to help others achieve their goals to improve and maintain their health and wellbeing.

 

I want to live the life I dreamed of while helping others to do the same and to become as healthy as possible. I also wanted to show others I'm no different than them – in the sense that we all possess the power to overcome adversity in our lives. I am living proof that anyone can achieve their goals when they put their minds to it, nourish their body and think positively.

 

Josh continues to ride BMX at a professional level, representing Eastern Bikes, Garden of Life, Vans Shoes, Barleans Fish Oil, and Novik Gloves. Josh blogs about nutrition, BMX and health, coaches clients, and keeps up-to-date on holistic nutrition and health information. In April of 2015, Josh launched www.DailyBrainstorms.com to share his story and passion with the world.

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PATIENT STORIES, CLINICAL EVIDENCE

Hear from Patients, Leading Medical Experts and Read Clinical Studies

Carla Finds Relief with Gamma Knife Radiosurgery.

CARLA’S STORY >
Gamma Knife Radiosurgery Puts Paul at 98% of His Pre-Surgery Self.



PAUL’S STORY >

Cecil Happily Sings the Praises of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery.

As Cecil began to age, he noticed that he was unable to hold a cup or a plate steady using his right hand.

CECIL’S STORY >
 
Cancer worked its way from Susan’s lungs to her spine, liver and head.
SUSAN’S STORY >
Gamma Knife Treatment has Everard back working on his Family Farm.


EVERARD’S STORY >
Missing the Sound of his Granddaughter’s Sweet Voice, Sends Mike Seeking Help.



MIKE’S STORY >
 

VIDEOS

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Q&A Session

Q&A SESSION

What is Gamma Knife?

WHAT IS GAMMA KNIFE

 
Gamma Knife Patient Testimonies

HEAR FROM PATIENTS

▶ It's Personal

IT’S PERSONAL

Patient Experience - Leksell Gamma Knife Treatment with the Coordinate Frame

PATIENT EXPERIENCE

 
Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™ Patients Video

TREATMENT PROCESS

Lois Holman Patient Story - Gamma Knife

LOIS'S STORY

LYNN'S STORY

 
 
Christopher Loiselle, M.D.
Radiation Oncologist

ASK YOUR
PHYSICIAN

QUESTION
AND ANSWER
SESSION.

 
 
What conditions can be treated with Gamma Knife?
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Gamma Knife radiosurgery is performed in leading hospitals around the world, with more than
75,000 patients treated every year. Find a center near you.

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