Brachytherapy can be highly effective for the treatment of certain cancers.1 There are several potential benefits to consider if your doctor has recommended brachytherapy as a treatment option:
- Because the radiation source is placed directly next to or inside the tumor, this allows for a reduced dose to surrounding healthy tissue that can potentially lead to fewer complications.2
- For the treatment of some cancers, brachytherapy may require fewer treatment sessions than external beam radiation therapy, usually between 1 and 5 days.
- Brachytherapy can be performed on an outpatient basis, meaning the patient can go home after treatment.
- Although the length of recovery time depends on the site being treated, it is usually short. Typically, patients are able to carry on with daily activities after treatment. However, fatigue may last several days, depending on the type of brachytherapy technique administered.3
- Patel RR and Arthur DW. Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America 2006;20(1):97–118.Martinez A and Vicini F. Seminars in Radiation Oncology 2002:12(1):31-39.D. Jeffrey Demanes, M.D. et al. International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology and Physics (IJROBP), Vol. 61, No.5, 99 1306-1316, 1 April 2005.Kathy L. Baglan M.D. et al. International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology and Physics (IJROBP) Vol. 45, No.1 pp. 105-112, 1999.
- National Cancer Institute. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/radiation. Accessed December 2011.
- Stewart AJ and Jones B. In: Brachytherapy: applications and techniques. Devlin PM (Ed). Philadelphia, PA, LWW. 2007.