Brachytherapy at World Class Hospitals in India
Brachytherapy which is also called internal radiation therapy is one type of radiation therapy used to treat cancer by using a type of energy, called ionizing radiation, to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Brachytherapy involves placing a radioactive material directly inside or next to the tumor. Brachytherapy allows a physician to use a higher total dose of radiation to treat a smaller area and in a shorter time than is possible with external radiation treatment.
Conditions Treated with Brachytherapy
Brachytherapy is used to treat cancers throughout the body, including the prostate, cervix ,head and neck , skin, breast ,gallbladder, uterus ,vagina, lung ,rectum , eye etc.
Brachytherapy may be either temporary or permanent: In temporary brachytherapy, the radioactive material is placed inside or near a tumor for a specific amount of time and then withdrawn. Temporary brachytherapy can be administered at a low-dose rate (LDR) or high-dose rate (HDR).
Permanent brachytherapy, also called seed implantation, involves placing radioactive seeds or pellets (about the size of a grain of rice) in or near the tumor and leaving them there permanently. After several weeks or months, the radioactivity level of the implants eventually diminishes to nothing. The inactive seeds then remain in the body, with no lasting effect on the patient.
Advantages of Brachytherapy:
- The precise targeting of the radiation, which spares healthy tissue.
- The fact that the procedure can usually be completed in 1-3 hours on an outpatient basis.
- A substantially lower incidence than surgery or external beam irradiation of both impotence and incontinence; and little to no impact on the patient’s quality of life.
- Patients typically return to their normal activities within 1-2 days with minimal restrictions.
- Brachytherapy greatly shortens the duration of the treatment, in fact prostate cancer Brachytherapy can often take one and a half days rather than the 5-7 weeks of traditional radiation.