The Welsh actor Craig Russell has recently spoken about his experience of being diagnosed with a brain tumour and his recovery process. Craig, aged 45, is the star of the hit Netflix drama Queen Cleopatra, and has acted in, written, and produced countless other films and TV shows.
He was at the peak of physical fitness when he received the devastating news in February 2023, after weeks of experiencing unexplained headaches, confusion, vision disturbances, and memory loss. He eventually went to see his GP, who sent him for an immediate MRI scan after noticing that he was going blind in his left eye.
The scan revealed a large and slow growing brain tumour that was putting pressure on his skull and was in danger of causing him to have seizures and strokes. Craig was booked in for urgent surgery, where most of the tumour was removed during a complex six-hour operation.
Craig told Wales Online: “With the tumour, it was my wife who first started noticing I think. Kate has just been the best, she’s the best anyway, but she’s been the most incredible support. That’s why all of this has been so easy compared to what it could have been because she’s just been wonderful, and she knew there was something not quite right.”
He added: “I was different, and I started to notice it. I think it was November, I went into the spare room to put something away, and I couldn’t remember how to get out of the spare room.”
“And then, a couple of weeks after that, I was driving one of the kids back from a children’s party and on one of the last roundabouts before our house, that I’ve been going around now for eight years, and I took the wrong turn. My son had to direct us home.”
And then I started getting these headaches at the back of my head every morning waking up with a very specific headache.”
After his surgery, doctors advised Craig to move around as much as possible to aid the recovery process. They were slightly concerned about the swelling on his brain that hadn’t gone down. However, fitness fan Craig took up a gentle exercise regime, and fortunately for the time being his condition will just need monitoring rather than further surgery.
In some cases, parts of a brain tumour that cannot be removed by traditional open surgery may be treated with stereotactic radiotherapy, sometimes also referred to as Gamma Knife surgery. This is a process that uses highly focused radiation beams to deliberately damage the tumour cells, while causing minimal harm to the surrounding healthy tissue.
This type of therapy is less invasive than other surgeries and has fewer harmful side effects than chemotherapy. It is available at several treatment centres throughout the UK.
If you are looking for Gamma Knife surgery in London, please get in touch today.