Radiation Therapy Treatment in Los Angeles, CA
At Pasadena CyberKnife Center, we’re proud to provide world-class CyberKnife radiation therapy to patients throughout the greater Los Angeles, CA area. Our state-of-the-art cancer center in Pasadena, CA serves patients of all ages and with virtually all forms of cancer – and we can even use CyberKnife to treat certain noncancerous conditions, like trigeminal neuralgia (TN). If you’re been diagnosed with TN we know things may feel overwhelming, but we’re here to help.
Common Questions About Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN)
What is trigeminal neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition affecting the face. TN occurs due to interference with the fifth cranial nerve, or the trigeminal nerve, which connects many parts of the face to the brain. The trigeminal nerve is the largest cranial nerve, controlling major sections of the cheeks, forehead, lips, and chin. Unfortunately, trigeminal neuralgia is one of the most severe chronic pain conditions known to modern medicine: pain from TN episodes is debilitating, extreme, and severe to the point of making physical activity impossible during an episode.
Are all cases of TN the same?
There are two primary types of trigeminal neuralgia. In the most common form, called typical or Type 1 trigeminal neuralgia, sufferers experience severe attacks of pain that last anywhere for a few seconds up to 2 minutes. Patients describe the pain as a severe burning sensation or something similar to an electric shock, and the pain is so severe that most patients can do nothing during an attack – in fact, the pain is sometimes so intense that sufferers can’t even cry out. These attacks can recur, and may follow each other in succession for hours.
In the second type of TN, called atypical trigeminal neuralgia or Type 2, sufferers experience a duller, constant sense of pain that’s closer to an aching feeling. It’s possible for patients to experience both typical and atypical trigeminal neuralgia at the same time.
What causes trigeminal neuralgia?
Unfortunately, the causes of TN aren’t well understood. In many cases, doctors can’t determine a cause for someone who develops TN. Sometimes, TN may be caused by multiple sclerosis, sarcoidosis, Lyme disease, or some infections. In some cases, TN may be caused by a blood vessel or tumor compressing the trigeminal nerve.
How is TN treated?
The treatment options for TN depend on the causes of the condition. In idiopathic cases of TN, in which there isn’t an obvious cause, treatment can prove difficult – but if there’s a blood vessel or tumor pressing on the trigeminal nerve, we can often treat TN through CyberKnife. We can use the CyberKnife radiation therapy system to eliminate the tumor or close or shrink the blood vessel, relieve the nerve compression and alleviating TN. Surgery may also be an effective treatment. Your doctor will talk with you to decide the ideal options for treating your own case of TN.
Will TN resolve itself without treatment?
Generally, no. It’s common for TN to come and go in cycles, but rare for the condition to completely heal without treatment.
Contact Your Los Angeles Radiation Therapy Center
TN is one of the most severe, debilitating pain conditions in existence – but if you’re fighting it, we’re on your side. Our world-class cancer center provides expert radiation therapy, and we may be able to help you beat TN without surgery. Don’t wait another day: contact us and schedule a consultation for treatment. We’ll help you understand your condition, talk over the potential treatment options, and put together a treatment plan that works with your lifestyle. We can’t wait to hear from you.