Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center: Gamma Knife Icon

Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center: Gamma Knife Icon


The Gamma Knife icon is the premier radiosurgery device in the world. there There are clinical studies that show that treating individual sites in the brain, as opposed to the whole brain, can improve the quality of life for patients with certain types of brain cancer. Essentially what it allows us to do is give very high doses of radiation therapy to targets, primarily within the brain, that allow for our very high control rate. When you have these pinpoint sources and you focus them on one target it looks like you’re painting the tumor with the paintbrush and with the Gamma Knife we can use the thinnest, finest paintbrushes available to us. Period. We have the ability now with the Icon to use a mask that allows us to not have to bolt a frame on somebody’s head. It is definitely much more comfortable for the patient. It’s a completely non-invasive application of a technique, in this particular case radiation, used to treat a tumor in a way that requires no knives, no pain, so there’s really no discomfort for the patient whatsoever. From our physics department, to our radiation oncologists, our medical oncologists, our surgeons, our neurosurgeons, our neurologists… This technology and bringing this to our area of Baton Rouge was born out of those clinicians seeing this as best practice and wanting this for the patients. Perhaps the thing we are most excited about is our ability to sustain and improve patient quality of life. While doing an even better job of controlling their tumor, controlling their disease. So this is going to keep the patient healthier, happier, more functional for a longer periods of time. More than we’ve ever been able to offer our patients. When we think about patients that might be coming from out of town, we’re working on processes to make sure that that is very smooth for the patient so all of those logistical things are the last thing they have to think about. And we want to make sure that the physician that’s referring that patient, that it’s a very smooth process for the patient to come and get their treatment and then return to the referring physician. The mission of the Cancer Center, in serving as a destination Cancer Center for the Gulf south, is to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer. Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady Lake Cancer Center will be among the top cancer centers in the entire United States that will have the icon available to take care of patients right here in Baton Rouge.

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