Definition: Internal radiation therapy for gynecologic cancers is a type of radiation therapy where the radioactive material is placed in an applicator in the vagina and/or cervix. "Brachy-" means "close" and this type of radiation has the advantage of delivering the radiation from a close distance, and thereby deliver a higher dose of radiation while not causing as much damage to other structures.
There are two main types of brachytherapy for gyn cancers: 1) low dose therapy, which takes longer - generally 2-3 days, and the patient must be isolated in a special hospital room because they are radioactive to others during that time. 2) High dose therapy is inserted for shorter time periods, of generally 10-30 minutes, and given 1-2 times per week for usually 5-10 treatments.
After radiation therapy, proper aftercare is important to prevent vaginal and cervical stenosis.
Pronunciation: BRACK ee ther a pee • (noun)
Also Known As: implant radiation therapy, brachytherapy
Common Misspellings: brackytherapy
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