Brachytherapy treatment includes inserting radioactive product into your body near the cancer.
Pain After Brachytherapy
How your doctor puts that radioactive product into your body depends on numerous factors, including the place and level of the cancer, your overall health, and your treatment objectives.
Placement might be inside a body cavity or into body tissue:
- Radiation put inside a body cavity. During intracavity brachytherapy, a device containing radioactive product is placed in a body opening, such as the windpipe or the vaginal area. The device might be a tube or cylinder made to fit the particular body opening.
Your radiation therapy team may position the brachytherapy device by hand or might use a computerized machine to help position the device.
Imaging equipment, such as a CT scanner or ultrasound maker, might be used to guarantee the device is put in the most efficient location.
- Radiation inserted into body tissue. During interstitial brachytherapy, devices consisting of radioactive material are put within body tissue, such as within the breast or prostate.
Devices that deliver interstitial radiation into the treatment area include wires, balloons and small seeds the size of grains of rice.
A number of methods are used for inserting the brachytherapy devices into body tissue.
Your radiation therapy group might use needles or special applicators. These long, hollow tubes are loaded with the brachytherapy devices, such as seeds, and inserted into the tissue where the seeds are launched.
In many cases, narrow tubes (catheters) might be placed during surgery and later on filled with radioactive material during brachytherapy sessions.
CT scans, ultrasound or other imaging methods may be used to guide the devices into location and to guarantee they’re placed in the most effective locations.
Also read: Radiation Therapy for Tongue Cancer
High-dose-rate vs. low-dose-rate brachytherapy
What you’ll experience during brachytherapy depends on your specific treatment.
Radiation can be given up a brief treatment session, just like high-dose-rate brachytherapy, or it can be left in place over a time period, just like low-dose-rate brachytherapy. Often the radiation source is positioned in your body completely.
- High-dose-rate brachytherapy. High-dose-rate brachytherapy is often an outpatient procedure, which indicates each treatment session is short and doesn’t need that you be confessed to the medical facility.
During high-dose-rate brachytherapy, radioactive product is put in your body for a brief period — from a couple of minutes up to 20 minutes. You may undergo a couple of sessions a day over a number of days or weeks.
You’ll lie in a comfortable position during high-dose-rate brachytherapy. Your radiation therapy team will position the radiation device, in the case of intracavity brachytherapy, or the radiation-holding device may currently be in place if you’re having interstitial brachytherapy.
The radioactive material is placed into the brachytherapy device with the help of a computerized machine.
Your radiation therapy group will leave the room during your brachytherapy session. They’ll observe from a neighboring room where they can see and hear you.
See also: Thyroid Cancer (Papillary Carcinoma)
You should not feel any pain during brachytherapy, but if you feel uneasy or have any concerns, make certain to tell your caretakers.
Once the radioactive material is removed from your body, you will not produce radiation or be radioactive. You aren’t a threat to other individuals, and you can go on with your normal activities.
- Low-dose rate-brachytherapy. During low-dose-rate brachytherapy, a continuous low dosage of radiation is released in time — from several hours to a number of days. You’ll remain in the medical facility while the radiation is in location.
Radioactive material is put in your body by hand or by machine. Brachytherapy devices may be placed during surgery, which might require anesthesia or sedation to assist you remain still during the procedure and to decrease discomfort.
You’ll likely stay in a personal room in the medical facility during low-dose-rate brachytherapy. Because the radioactive product stays inside your body, there is a little chance it could harm other individuals. For this factor, visitors will be restricted.
Children and pregnant women should not visit you in the hospital. Others might visit briefly when a day or two. Your healthcare group will still provide you the care you require, but may restrict the quantity of time they spend in your space.
Also read: Colorectal Cancer Treatment by Stage
You should not feel pain during low-dose-rate brachytherapy. Keeping still and staying in your hospital room for days may be uneasy. If you feel any discomfort, inform your health care group.
After a designated amount of time, the radioactive product is removed from your body. When brachytherapy treatment is total, you’re free to have visitors without limitations.
- Irreversible brachytherapy. Sometimes, such as with prostate cancer brachytherapy, radioactive material is put in your body permanently.
The radioactive product is typically positioned by hand with the guidance of an imaging test, such as ultrasound or CT. You may feel pain during the placement of radioactive product, but you should not feel any pain once it’s in place.
Your body will emit low dosages of radiation from the area being dealt with at first. Usually the risk to others is minimal and may not need any limitations about who can be near you.
In many cases, for a brief amount of time you might be asked to limit the length and frequency of gos to with pregnant women or with children. The quantity of radiation in your body will reduce with time, and limitations will be ceased.