A minimally invasive brain tumour therapy developed at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital is to be featured on television.
At 7.30pm tonight, BBC Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire will follow Jessica Simpkin as she prepares to undergo cutting-edge gamma knife treatment for five brain tumours at Sheffield’s National Centre for Stereotactic Radiosurgery.
The facility, based at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, is one of only two centres in the country providing specialist gamma knife treatments for patients with rare and complex conditions.
When Jessica Simpkin was diagnosed with a malignant and aggressive brain tumour at just four, the odds of her survival were extremely low.
Now Jess, aged 29, has made a film about her latest treatment for five brain tumours to raise awareness of the importance of an early diagnosis.
Jessica said: “I want to help people who have had tumours and are going to get them so they get diagnosed earlier and don’t go through what I have.”
For Jess, conventional surgery is no longer an option after operations as a child and in her teens. Going back into her brain could cause more damage and risk the strokes she has already begun to have.
Gamma knife technology uses a focused array of intersecting beams of carefully measured gamma radiation to target lesions in the brain with sub-millimetre precision, meaning that there is less risk of damage to surrounding healthy tissue and thus fewer side effects for patients.
Unlike open surgery, patients are usually treated as a day case, and the treatment is less invasive.