Brachytherapy is a special radiation treatment that uses a radioactive source inside the cancer-afflicted patient permanently or temporarily for the purpose of damaging the DNA of cancer cells. The objective is to stop the cancerous cells’ abilities to divide and grow.
Brachytherapy procedure helps treat cancer cells spread throughout the body. Compared to conventional procedure of external beam radiation therapy, brachytherapy enables the doctor to use a very high dose of radiation to treat a smaller area, but in lesser duration of time.
Brachytherapy treatment involves placement of a radioactive material next to the tumour inside the patient’s body. Since the radiation material is placed inside the body of the patient near the tumour site, brachytherapy is also known as internal radiation therapy. It is considered to have a much higher impact than external beam treatment.
Brachytherapy is a highly recommended radiation therapy for cancer in prostate, eye, rectum, lung, uterus, gallbladder, breast, vagina, head and neck and skin. Brachytherapy treatment team comprises of a radiation therapy nurse, radiation oncologist, radiation therapist, medical physicist and a dosimetrist. A radiation oncologist plays an important role since he evaluates the condition of the patient and assesses the appropriate dosage required.
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