Breast and lung cancer survivor: My Gamma Knife surgery

If Mary Lynn Moser could use one phrase to describe her Gamma Knife® surgery, it would be, “It looked a lot worse than it was.” Like many other patients, the lung cancer and breast cancer survivor was intimidated by the “halo” that she’d need to wear during the procedure. But in the end, she found the Gamma Knife surgery simple, which was a relief. The benefits of Gamma Knife surgery Neurosurgeon Jeffery S. Weinberg, M.D., first recommended the Gamma Knife surgery when a follow-up scan in December 2016 showed a cyst-like spot in her brain. It wasn’t clear if the spot was cancerous, and a biopsy was not feasible. But because Mary Lynn had already had breast cancer treatment in 2005 and 2010 and three lung cancer surgeries in 2012, 2015 and early 2017, Dr. Weinberg recommended the Gamma Knife radiation surgery. The alternative was two weeks of traditional radiation treatment. Gamma Knife could be performed during a single appointment. And it was less invasive. Gamma Knife surgery isn’t like traditional surgery. It uses strong radiation and targets a single spot where the cancer is located, so it’s less likely to kill healthy cells. Mary Lynn decided to go forward with Gamma Knife surgery after she was approved for it, and traveled from her home in Florida to MD Anderson for the procedure in February 2017. Mary Lynn’s Gamma Knife surgery The preparation took more time than the actual Gamma Knife surgery, Mary Lynn says. First, her care team used a local anesthetic to numb the four spots on her head where the halo would be connected – two...