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Brachytherapy- Internal Radiation Therapy

Brachytherapy is an advanced treatment of Pleural mesothelioma as well as other cancers. Brachytherapy is a form of radiotherapy.

Brachytherapy is also known as Internal Radiation Therapy.

Brachytherapy is used to treat cancers like-

  • Pleural mesothelioma
  • Prostate cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Gynecologic cancer
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Rectal tumors
  • Sarcomas

In Brachytherapy treatment, high doses of radiation are delivered directly to the tumor of pleural mesothelioma and other cancers. So Brachytherapy is a targeted form of treatment.

In Brachytherapy, patient is treated in a shielded room as an outpatient procedure.

Implantation of seeds are done with the help of catheters or metal tubes.

In this treatment, local or general anesthesia is used according to patient’s comfort.

There are two types of Brachytherapy

  • Temporary  Brachytherapy
  • Permanent Brachytherapy

In Temporary Brachytherapy, seeds are implanted for short period of time and after that those are removed.

In Permanent Brachytherapy, seeds are implanted but never removed though those stop emitting radiations.

Those stop emitting radiations usually within 3 to 12 months of implantation, depends upon the type of material used and dosage in the treatment.

After completion of treatment, patient is allowed to return home but advised to avoid interacting with children and pregnant ladies as those can be affected by the radiations released by a person who has undergone Brachytherapy.

This is a type of radiation therapy which minimizes the damage of healthy tissues while killing cells of cancers with the help of implanted radioactive material.

Restrictions of Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy is restricted for Peritoneal Mesothelioma as lining of the abdominal cavity is affected by peritoneal cancer, liver, kidneys, small intestine and other organs are located in abdominal cavity. Radiations of Brachytherapy can be extremely toxic to these organs.

Side effects of Brachytherapy radiations

Brachytherapy treatment has some side effects and there are some complains of patients who undergo this treatment. Some of the complaints are-

  • Problems of mouth

Most of the patients who undergo this therapy complain that there is a change in taste and suffering from inflammation of the oral cavity or dry mouth.

  • Fatigue

Many patients complain that they suffer from extreme level of fatigue during the course of treatment and some complain that fatigue remains for months or years after the completion of treatment.

  • Problems of skin

There are some side effects of Brachytherapy  which are seen on skin. Skin becomes dark red, dry peeling.

But many patients get relief from these side effects by taking treatment to treat the side effects who are undergone Brachytherapy treatment.