Brachytherapy treatment may be used alone or combined with external beam radiotherapy [EBRT] treatment to treat gynaecological cancers, depending on the stage of the disease.
There are 2 types of gynaecological brachytherapy – single vaginal vault brachytherapy and intra cavitary 3 channel brachytherapy.
In vaginal vault brachytherapy, a cylinder known as an applicator is inserted into the vagina. This allows the radiation source to travel inside the applicator to deliver the treatment. The radiation mainly targets the high risk areas of the vagina in contact with the cylinder. Because of the steep drop off in dose over a short distance due to the nature of the brachytherapy radiation source, this protects the surrounding healthy organs and tissue.
Vaginal Brachytherapy is used in the treatment of cervix and endometrial cancers and is done as an outpatient procedure.
For 3 channel brachytherapy, this is mainly used in advanced stage cervical cancers. This usually involves insertion of a special applicator into the uterus to enable treatment to the cervix and the surrounding tissue known as the parametrium. This is usually done as an outpatient procedure.
Our radiation oncologists will discuss which treatment is suitable for you.
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