Brachytherapy works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells, which grow and divide quickly. Brachytherapy can be used to cure cancer, lessen the chance it will return, or stop or slow its growth.Brachytherapy can be used to shrink tumors that are causing pain and other problems.


The duration of treatment is shorter with brachytherapy, as a large dose of radiation can be safely provided in one shot. Before the procedure, the patient has to meet a radiation oncologist who suggests scans including X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans to help with treatment. How and where radioactive material is placed depends on several factors including the location and extent of the cancer, overall health status, and treatment goals. It would be placed inside the body cavity or in body tissue.

Who Needs It?

Brachytherapy is typically used to treat cancer and at times to treat other medical conditions like heart diseases. When it is used to treat cancer, brachytherapy can be used alone or together with other cancer therapies. For instance, it is used after surgery, where radiation is used to destroy any remaining cancer cells. Brachytherapy is used to treat many types of cancer including:

  • Brain cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Eye cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Skin cancer
  • Soft tissue sarcomas
  • Vaginal cancer

Brachytherapy is a kind of internal radiation treatment that uses radiation to damage cancer cells and shrink tumours. The radiation is in the form of seeds, ribbons, or wires and they are placed in the body in or near cancer.

Placing permanent seed brachytherapy may result in side effects like urinary tract and erection problems. While it may rarely cause bowel problems. Moreover, it involves general or spinal anesthesia, which also can have side effects.

Patients can resume walking within a few hours of the procedure and other daily tasks within a few days. As it is a minimally invasive procedure.

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