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