What is external beam radiation therapy?
External beam radiation therapy delivers radiation from outside the body, using a machine called a linear accelerator. The most common type of radiation therapy for brain tumors, it can be directed to the tumor and nearby brain tissue or to the whole brain. External beam radiation therapy is also called traditional radiation therapy.
Whole-brain radiation is sometimes used to treat metastatic brain tumors. It is used to treat multiple metastatic brain tumors throughout the brain, including tumors that are too small to be seen on a scan.
External beam radiation therapy is usually given Monday through Friday over several weeks. A certified radiation therapist administers the treatment and monitors the patient’s progress. Most visits take 15 to 45 minutes, although the actual treatment time is only a few minutes.