Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I am a candidate for treatment?
Novalis can be used to treat benign and malignant brain tumors, metastatic tumors or recurrent brain tumors, functional brain disorders, intractable seizures, head and neck tumors and other tumors within the body; such as the liver, lung, prostate and spine. However, not all patients may be candidates for treatment with Novalis.
Before deciding on treatment with Novalis, a review of your medical history is completed by your team of doctors. All available treatment options are considered and the choice of treatment will depend upon your particular diagnosis, tumor or lesion size and location, as well as your personal treatment preferences. The decision process may also lead to a combination of different treatment options, including Novalis.
What is the difference between stereotactic radiosurgery and fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy?
Novalis Shaped Beam Surgery is either applied in a single session with a high dose of radiation, also known as stereotactic radiosurgery, or in a series of treatments over a period of time, known as fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy. Fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy involves similar total doses of radiation as stereotactic radiosurgery, but the radiation is delivered in smaller amounts. Fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy allows the healthy tissue to recover from the impact of the radiation before the next treatment session. Your doctors will recommend the technique most appropriate for you, depending on the size and location of your tumor. For fractionated treatments, a face mask is worn instead of the metal headring. Each face mask is formed to perfectly fit onto each patient's head and unique facial shape.
What effect is the radiation likely to have on my disease?
Novalis' high energy radiation beams aim to destroy tumor cells by damaging the cells and causing them to die. Visible results as seen on a follow-up scan, might include shrinkage of the tumor or the halt to further tumor growth. Because cell destruction and the absorption of the cells within your system is a long-lasting process, it can take up to six months before the effect of the treatment is visible on a follow-up image.
Will there be any side effects?
The procedure itself is not painful, although some patients state that they find the headring that must be worn for radiosurgery of brain tumors to be slightly uncomfortable. Side effects that you might experience immediately following treatment include headache and dizziness.
Your doctor will discuss specific side effects with you, which may occur depending on your overall treatment plan.
What should I expect at my treatment session?
You don't need to bring special clothing or equipment to the hospital for treatment with Novalis. You might want to dress comfortably and bring a book or something else to keep you busy during the waiting periods. You may also bring a friend or a relative with you and he/she may stay with you during the day. However, during the actual treatment procedure, your companion will have to leave the treatment room.
Please make sure to arrange for transportation home as you might feel tired after the treatment; driving is not recommended.