Papillon Therapy

Papillon Therapy is an innovative way of treating rectal cancer.

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How does Papillon Therapy work?

The Papillon technique is a groundbreaking type of contact radiotherapy developed for the treatment of rectal cancer, especially those in the early stages, meaning surgery can be avoided. It is especially important for patients who are not suitable or keen on extirpative surgery. For those patients who are able to undertake the treatment, their subsequent quality of life is much better as they will not require a stoma bag.

The Clatterbridge was the first British centre to introduce Papillon contact radiotherapy in 1993. Since then, we have been at the forefront of the development of the treatment, and are a leading centre for the training of clinicians internationally.

How does the Papillon technique work?

Contact radiotherapy (low energy x-ray treatment) is recommended for patients who are not fit enough for general anaesthesia, or who do not want major surgery and the formation of a stoma.

If the cancer is small (less than three centimetres) with no evidence of lymph node spread, then local contact radiotherapy using the Papillon treatment can be considered as an alternative treatment option.

We work together to combine the highest levels of consultant-led care and patient choice with the most advanced knowledge and understanding of the disease and its forms.

Q. What cancers does Papillon Therapy treat?

A. Papillon Therapy is used to treat rectal cancers, specifically in the early stages.

Q. Is it painful?

A. No, the treatment itself is not painful and doesn’t require anaesthetic. However, some patients may find it uncomfortable.

Q. How does it work?

A. Papillon Therapy works by delivering local contact radiotherapy to the cancer (if it’s less than three centimetres).

Q. How long does the treatment take?

A. The treatment itself only takes a few minutes and since there’s no anaesthetic you can continue with your day as usual. The treatment will be repeated again two weeks later.

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