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Brachytherapy (Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation)

Brachytherapy is an alternative to whole breast radiation. In this method, a catheter is implanted into the breast where the tumor was removed.  Twice a day for five days (early morning and late afternoon), a radio-active seed is inserted into the catheter treat the target tissue.  The treatment is administered under the supervision of a radiation oncologist and is usually done in a hospital or clinic.  After each session of approximately 20 minutes, the seed is removed from the catheter.  A woman is free to go about her daily activities between appointments and is not radioactive.  When treatment is complete, after the five days, the balloon catheter is removed.


Brachytherapy delivers a higher dose of radiation to a smaller area of the breast over a shorter period of time compared with traditional (external beam) radiation therapy. The benefits of Brachytherapy treatment include:

  • Highly effective at preventing breast cancer reoccurrence
  • Highly targeted therapy- radiation is placed directly at treatment site prevents healthy tissues from being unnecessarily exposed to radiation.
  • Minimized side effects
  • Excellent cosmetic results
  • Shortened recovery period
  • Convenient

Talk to your doctor to see if Brachytherapy is an appropriate treatment option for you.

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