Brachytherapy is a kind of internal radiation that delivers high doses of radiation directly to tumors through a radioactive implant. Brachytherapy allows your doctor to focus radiation where it needs to go without hurting healthy tissue. This keeps side effects minimal.
How It Works
In brachytherapy, a radioactive substance sealed in a needle, “seed,” wire or catheter is implanted in your body temporarily. It is placed directly into or near the tumor. Your doctor will use imaging equipment to help him place the implant where it can deliver the highest dose without hurting your healthy tissue.
The implantation takes only a few minutes. Depending on your treatment needs, the implant may stay in place from time to time before your doctor removes it.
Most patients experience few or no side effects from radiation therapy. Fatigue is the most common side effect reported, but it is usually not very severe. Most patients can often continue the majority of their normal daily activities with a reduced schedule during treatment, including working.
If you experience side effects, they usually start around the second or third week of treatment, and may last for several weeks after your final treatment. In rare cases, serious side effects can develop after radiation therapy is finished. If you have any side effects, talk with members of your radiation oncology team. They can help you manage them and may prescribe medicines that can help provide relief.