Internal Radiation Therapy


What is internal radiation therapy? Internal radiation therapy, also called brachytherapy, is a type of radiation to treat cancer. The source of radiation is placed in your body or on an area of your body close to the tumor. It is used to shrink the tumor or kill the cancer cells. Brachytherapy may be used with other treatments such as external radiation therapy, medicines, and surgery.

How is brachytherapy done? The way that brachytherapy is given depends on many things, such as where the tumor or tumors are in your body. During brachytherapy, radioactive seeds are placed inside or around the tumor. Seeds are small objects that give off radiation (x-ray energy) in all directions. They can be placed on the skin, in an organ, or in a body cavity. Body cavities are openings in your body, such as your nose, mouth, and vagina. Some seeds can be left in your body permanently, while others will be removed. Brachytherapy may be given in several treatments. You may need to stay in the hospital during this procedure. You may need to return to have treatment every day for about a week.

What are the risks of brachytherapy?

When should I contact my caregiver? Contact your caregiver if:

When should I seek immediate care? Seek care immediately or call 911 if:


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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