Brachytherapy is most commonly used as a component of the total treatment plan for patients with cervical and prostate cancer. It is also used for endometrial cancer after surgery and occasionally for other specific indications.
Typically, specially designed applicators are placed in the body cavity or tissue under general or local anaesthetic.These applicators are connected to a device called an Automated Remote After-loader. This device is a special safe that contains the radioactive source. When the applicators have been positioned correctly, the after-loader which is controlled by a computer (operated by Radiation Therapists and Physicists) sends the radioactive source into the appropriate location. While Brachytherapy maybe the only type of Radiotherapy recommended for you, more commonly it will be given before, during or after the External Beam treatment.
Brachytherapy where applicable has the advantage of being very highly focused on the area of greatest need. It is generally very well tolerated but there may be some unique issues that you should discuss with your Radiation Oncologist. Once again we encourage you to ask questions to any of our staff members in the department.