What is Brachytherapy?
Brachytherapy is a type of internal radiation therapy that is used to treat cancer. There are two types of brachytherapy:
1. Intercavitary: This means radioactive material is placed inside a body cavity such as a uterus.
2. Interstitial: This means radioactive material is placed within human tissues.
The radioactive material is able to treat a specific area of the body in a shorter amount of time compared to external radiation therapy.
Before the Procedure
Your radiation oncologist will speak with you to determine if you qualify for brachytherapy and to learn about any tests that may need to be completed before the procedure.
During the Procedure
A specialized treatment team will perform the procedure. Before the procedure begins you will receive an anesthetic to make you fall asleep and numb the area of the implant. Depending on the type of the procedure, the brachytherapy seeds will be implanted into the body area affected by cancer or in the body cavity containing cancer.
After the Procedure
Depending on the type of procedure, radioactive material is removed after the treatment ends or left embedded in the body’s tissue. Your radiation oncologist will discuss the right method for you.
Immediately after the procedure you will be able to rest in the Hospital. Depending on the type of procedure received, you may be able to go home, or may have to stay in the Hospital overnight. Your doctor will discuss the best option with you prior to scheduling the procedure.
Your doctor will advise you on any anticipated side effects of the treatment and provide you with specific home care instructions. Most patients who receive brachytherapy can resume normal activities soon after the procedure.
For more information, please call 718.780.3677.