How Does Brachytherapy Work?
Brachytherapy can involve implanting radiation directly into the tumour, or placing a source of radiation near to it for a certain amount of time.
Here at Clatterbridge, brachytherapy is mainly used to treat prostate and gynaecological cancer.
For patients who suffer from certain types of prostate cancer, low dose rate brachytherapy may be recommended. This involves inserting radioactive seeds into the prostate gland while under a general anaesthetic. The radiation is extremely targeted, meaning adjacent organs are spared from the side effects.
In some cases, high dose brachytherapy can be used to treat prostate cancer and can be combined with external beam radiation therapy. This involves a large dose of radiation being delivered through fine tubes to the prostate through the skin. This is done under a general anaesthetic and is a one-off treatment.
Womb and cervix cancers often require treatment with brachytherapy and external beam radiation therapy. This increases the dosage of radiation being delivered to the pelvis while minimising the impact on surrounding tissues.
A. No, once the treatment has taken place no radiation remains in your body, meaning you’re fine to continue with normal activities. If you’re having seed brachytherapy you will be given guidance about radiation protection.
A. Side effects can vary based on the cancer, the stage and the patient. Your doctor will talk through any questions you may have and give you a leaflet so you know what to expect.
A. Yes, but we have cameras to watch you at all times and can interrupt the treatment at any time if you need us.
Typically, high-dose brachytherapy takes around 30 minutes to complete and is carried out over a few sessions spread out over a number of days. However, this all depends on the patient and the treatment that needs to be given.
Cancers Brachytherapy can treat
Fill in your details below and a member of our Patient Care Team will be in touch.