Cancer Support Group Punjab
Brachytherapy is a procedure that involves placing radioactive material inside your body.

Brachytherapy is one type of radiation therapy that's used to treat cancer. Brachytherapy is sometimes called internal radiation.

Brachytherapy allows doctors to deliver higher doses of radiation to more-specific areas of the body, compared with the conventional form of radiation therapy (external beam radiation) that projects radiation from a machine outside of your body.

Brachytherapy may cause fewer side effects than does external beam radiation, and the overall treatment time is usually shorter with brachytherapy.

Brachytherapy is used to treat several types of cancer, including:

  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Head and neck cancers
  • Lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Skin cancer
  • Soft tissue cancers
  • Vaginal cancer
Brachytherapy can be used alone or in conjunction with other cancer treatments. For instance, brachytherapy is sometimes used after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that may remain. Brachytherapy can also be used along with external beam radiation.

Brachytherapy treatment involves inserting radioactive material into your body near the cancer.

Delivering brachytherapy

The implant may be placed in the body in the following ways:

  • Interstitial Brachytherapy
  • Implants can be temporary or permanent.
    The implant is surgically placed right into a tumour (for example, into a prostate tumour).
  • Implants can be temporary or permanent.
    • Temporary implants are removed after the desired dose is delivered.
    • Permanent implants (such as radioactive seeds) are not removed. They slowly deliver their dose of radiation over a period of weeks or months.
  • Interstitial brachytherapy may be used in combination with external beam radiation therapy.
  • Interstitial brachytherapy may be used for prostate or head and neck tumours.
  • intracavitary brachytherapy
    • The implant is placed in a special applicator inside a body cavity (for example, through the vagina into the cervix).
    • Intracavitary brachytherapy is most commonly used for cancers of the female reproductive tract, such as cervical cancer.
  • Intraluminal Brachytherapy
    • The implant is placed in a special applicator inside a body passage (for example, inside the esophagus or bronchus.
    • Intraluminal brachytherapy is often used in combination with external beam radiation therapy to give a boost of additional radiation.
    • It may be used for some esophageal or lung cancers.
    • It is also called transluminal brachytherapy.
  • Surface Brachytherapy
  • Sometimes a very small implant is placed on the surface of a tumour (for example, a tumour on the eye).

Prostate Brachytherapy

Prostate brachytherapy is a form of radiation therapy used to treat prostate cancer. Prostate brachytherapy involves placing devices containing radiation in the prostate gland close to the cancer cells.

Prostate brachytherapy procedures vary based on the type of radiation you'll receive. Temporary prostate brachytherapy involves placing radioactive wires in the prostate gland for several minutes before the wires are removed. Permanent prostate brachytherapy involves placing radioactive seeds in the prostate gland permanently, where they slowly release radiation.

The goal of prostate brachytherapy is to place the radiation close to the cancer cells, where the radiation can kill the cancer cells while causing less damage to healthy tissue nearby.

Prostate brachytherapy is a type of radiation therapy used to treat prostate cancer. If you have early-stage prostate cancer, brachytherapy may be the only treatment used. For larger prostate cancers, brachytherapy may be used along with other treatments, such as external beam radiation or hormone therapy.

Prostate brachytherapy is generally not used for advanced prostate cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes or to distant areas of the body.

FFF Technology Flattening Free Filter Mode technology or FFF has dose rates of 2,400 (as compared to 600 or below in filtered beam). Thus, the beam gets reduced by one third to one fourth. This offers patient comfort and minimises the effect of movement during treatment or respiration. Advantages With FFF technology, the treatment time is reduced from minutes to seconds. The high doses are delivered with precision and accuracy and does not affect the normal tissues. This reduces the chances of secondary cancers and optimises medical outcomes. Higher dose rates also have definite clinical benefits in organ motion management. For example, larger dose fractions can be delivered in a single holding of breath. This technology can be used to treat prostate cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, brain tumour, head and neck tumour and for any other metastatic site.