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Brachytherapy

BRACHYTHERAPY

Brachytherapy is also called internal radiation therapy. Brachytherapy is one types of radiation therapy that is used to treat cancer by using a type of energy, called ionizing radiation. The radiation is used to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Brachytherapy precisely targets the cancerous tumor from inside the body. In brachytherapy the source of radiation is placed directly inside or next to the tumor. Brachytherapy is a tailored approach that reduces the risk of any unnecessary damage to healthy tissue and organs that are close to the tumor. Hence brachytherapy reduces potential side effects. Brachytherapy allows a physician to use a higher total dose of radiation to treat a smaller area and in a shorter time than is possible with external radiation treatment. Brachytherapy is used to treat cervical, prostate, breast, skin cancer etc. Brachytherapy may be either temporary or permanent. In a temporary brachytherapy, the radioactive material is placed inside or near a tumor for a specific amount of time and then withdrawn. In a permanent brachytherapy, radioactive seeds or pellets are placed in or near the tumor and leaving them there permanently. After several weeks or months, the radioactivity level of the implants eventually diminishes to nothing. The inactive seeds then remain in the body, with no lasting effect on the patient.

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