Brachytherapy, also sometimes known as “internal radiation therapy,” is a type of cancer treatment that involves radioactive implants being placed inside a patient’s body.
The benefit of Brachytherapy is that the procedure is so precise that it helps preserve the healthy tissues surrounding the tumor. Because the material is implanted within or next to the tumor, it allows radiation oncologists to deliver higher doses of radiation, compared with the conventional form of external beam radiation therapy, that emits radiation from a machine outside of a patient’s body.
Because it only targets the tumor, Brachytherapy benefits from causing fewer side effects than traditional radiation treatments and a shorter overall recovery time. While often a treatment by itself, Brachytherapy can be use along with other cancer treatments and is often used after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that may remain.
NY Radiation Specialists typically utilizes Brachytherapy to treat gynecological and breast cancers.
Intracavitary Radiation Brachytherapy is used when treating or cancers of the cervix, vagina, or endometrium. Whereas a interstitial radiation treatment place the implant within or near the tumor, Intracavitary Radiation Brachytherapy places the radioactive source within a body cavity. The applicators are typically left in place within 24 to 48 hours and the patient will need to remain in hospital until they are removed.
High Dose Brachytherapy allows a patient to be treated with a more powerful radioactive source, which has the benefit of only requiring a few minutes per treatment.