Gamma knife surgery results help Anchorage woman

An Anchorage resident becomes the 5th Alaskan to undergo breakthrough surgery

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by Derek Smith

ANCHORAGE- Sherry led an ordinary life, until something felt wrong.

"When I starting waking up with not being able to feel my hands or my arms, I started getting really worried. And when they did the MRI, they told me that it's a death sentence."

Doctors found three tumors in her brain. Although Sherry was scared, she did qualify for a new method of treatment: the gamma knife.

Doctor Stephen Settle, an Anchorage radiation oncologist, performed the surgery.

"Its very efficient, we are talking sub-millimeter accuracy; the local control rates are very high, very effective."

The gamma knife uses 200 beams of radiation to kill off brain tumors. She is the fifth Alaskan patient to have ever used the machine.

Says Settle: "It allows us to target the legions with pin point accuracy and destroy the legions with doing very little treatment to the brain, so side effects are minimal."

Sherry says the results of the procedure have been positive.

"I was in pain, I had headaches all the time, they are all gone."

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Smoothape said on Friday, Dec 27 at 8:49 AM

It's called a Gamma Knife, not a Gamma Ray Knife.

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