Brachytherapy is a refined radiotherapy technique employed in battling cancer. The treatment is distinguished by placing the radiation source directly on or adjacent to the malignant tumour. Such precision enhances treatment accuracy, sparing the healthy tissue around the tumour. Often, brachytherapy functions independently or in synergy with external radiotherapy or surgery.

Types of Cancers Addressed by Brachytherapy

This advanced treatment method is applicable to various cancers, such as:

  • Prostate cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Soft tissue sarcoma
  • Breast cancer
  • Vaginal cancer
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Skin cancer
  • Anal cancer

Delving into the Brachytherapy Procedure

The two primary brachytherapy methods are:

  1. Permanent Implantation: Here, the radiation source remains perpetually embedded in the tumour. Comparable in size to a sesame seed, this source releases mild radiation steadily until exhaustion. Predominantly, this method addresses low-risk localised prostate cancer.
  2. Temporary Implantation: The radiation source, delivering a high radiation dose, is placed momentarily either within or close to the tumour cell. Ideal for treating gynaecological cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, head and neck cancer, and anal cancer.

The physician's decision on the apropriate treatment depends on:

  • Tumour location
  • Tumour size
  • Risk profiling for localized prostate cancer

Why Choose Brachytherapy? Key Benefits

  • Enhanced treatment precision, focusing radiation on the required location.
  • Diminished side effect risks due to the radiation's proximity to the tumour.
  • The procedure is minimally invasive, bypassing the need for significant surgery.
  • Typically an out-patient procedure.
  • Swift treatment span ranging between one to five days.
  • Faster recovery times, enabling patients to resume regular activities shortly.

Potential Side Effects of Brachytherapy

Side effects are not uniform for brachytherapy patients. Their manifestation varies based on the cancer location, its progression stage, and any concurrent health issues. It's imperative for patients to confer with their doctors about possible side effects and to promptly report any adverse reactions.

Monitoring the Treatment's Impact

For optimal outcomes, patients are encouraged to honour all doctor appointments.