In addition to external beam treatments, a patient’s cancer care may dictate the use of internal radiation therapy also known as brachytherapy. This high dose internal radiation therapy is delivered by precisely placing a radiation source directly inside or next to the area requiring treatment and is often a more convenient radiation option for many patients.
HDR Brachytherapy uses a naturally occurring radiation source remotely inserted into the tumor site through a catheter. Primarily used to treat breast, gynecological, esophagus, and lung cancers this therapy treats tumors more quickly than the low dose rate and shortens the patient’s experience from a hospital stay to an outpatient treatment.
At the Tri-Cities Cancer Center we offer Breast Brachytherapy as an option to treat breast cancer. When a lumpectomy is performed, a deflated balloon is placed in the space where the tumor was located. A catheter is then attached to the balloon and leads outside the body. The radiation source travels from the equipment, through the catheter, and into the balloon. The patient receives approximately five days of breast brachytherapy treatment, twice a day.