Brachytherapy uses specialised radiation to treat cancer. Radiation is delivered close to or inside the tumour site by a radiation source contained within special applicators.
Radiation doses do not need to pass through the body from outside and radiation is confined much more closely to the treatment area. This allows the cancer to be treated with a higher dose of radiation and causes less damage to normal tissues.
This treatment may be used in conjunction with external beam radiation treatment. Your Radiation Oncologist (doctor) will tell you if brachytherapy is recommended as part of your treatment.
At Wellington Blood and Cancer Centre, High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy is used to treat gynaecological, breast, prostate, and skin cancers. The radioactive source is made of a material called iridium-192. If you’re receiving Brachytherapy treatment, you’ll spend the day at hospital but can go home after treatment.