Brachytherapy: what is it and how does it help in treating cancer?
Brachytherapy is a form of radiation therapy that has been used to treat cancer for over a century. In this procedure, a radiation source is placed in or near the cancer area, delivering a targeted dose of radiation that minimizes damage to surrounding healthy tissue. Brachytherapy is often used in combination with other treatments such as chemotherapy, surgery, and external beam radiation. It is a safe, effective, and minimally invasive treatment option for many types of cancer. In this article, we will discuss what brachytherapy is, how it works, and the benefits it offers to cancer patients. We will also explore the different types of brachytherapy available and the potential side effects of this treatment.
How Does Brachytherapy Work?
Brachytherapy is a type of radiation therapy that delivers high doses of radiation directly to the cancerous area. Unlike most other radiation treatments, brachytherapy is not delivered throughout the body. Instead, brachytherapy involves placing a radiation source, called a brachytherapy source, either inside the body or very close to the cancer site. The source of Brachytherapy is often small objects such as radioactive jewelry called Seeds or wires. Once placed, the seeds or wires emit radiation for a period of time. This radiation destroys cancer cells and interferes with their ability to grow and spread. Brachytherapy works well for cancers near the surface of the body such as in the cervix, mouth, larynx, prostate, and skin. Brachytherapy can also be used to treat cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes.
Benefits Of Brachytherapy
Brachytherapy is very effective in treating certain types of cancer, especially those close to the surface of the body. Since brachytherapy uses a targeted radiation approach, this minimizes damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. This can reduce the risk of long-term side effects such as scarring, bladder damage, and secondary cancer. Brachytherapy is helpful in the treatment of certain types of cancer, including cervical cancer, head and neck cancer, oral cancer, prostate cancer, and skin cancer. Although often used in conjunction with other treatments, brachytherapy can be used as a stand-alone treatment in some cases. Brachytherapy is often a treatment option for people who have had previous surgery for cancer, as well as those who are at increased risk of damage to surrounding tissue from external beam radiation therapy.
Types Of Brachytherapy
Brachytherapy is a type of radiation therapy that delivers high doses of radiation directly to the cancerous area. There are two main types of brachytherapy: interstitial brachytherapy and implant brachytherapy. Interstitial Brachytherapy involves inserting tiny radioactive seeds directly into cancerous tissue under the skin. Implant brachytherapy involves placing radioactive implants, such as seeds or wires, into or very close to the cancer. Implant brachytherapy is often used to treat cancer of the cervix, larynx, oral cavity, prostate, skin, and uterine sarcoma. Interstitial Brachytherapy is often used to treat cancer of the larynx, prostate, and skin.
Potential side effects of Brachytherapy
Brachytherapy is a very safe and effective treatment for many types of cancer. However, like all radiation treatments, it does have potential side effects. These side effects depend on the amount of radiation given and the area being treated. Brachytherapy can cause irritation and bleeding in the skin near the site where the seed is placed. It can also cause problems with urination due to irritation of the urethra. Brachytherapy can also increase the risk of secondary cancers such as leukemia. This risk is highest for children and young adults receiving treatment with high doses of radiation. Brachytherapy should be used with caution in pregnant women, due to the risk of complications due to radiation to the developing fetus.
Like all radiation treatments, brachytherapy has potential side effects. However, it is a very effective and safe treatment for many cancers. Brachytherapy is especially beneficial for certain types of cancer of the cervix, larynx, oral cavity, prostate, and skin. Brachytherapy is a targeted form of radiation that is delivered directly to the area of cancer, minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. This minimizes the risk of long-term side effects such as scarring, damage to the bladder, and secondary cancer. Brachytherapy is a safe and effective treatment that can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments.