Brachytherapy is a widely used method for providing accelerated partial breast irradiation (the delivery of radiation only to the area at highest risk for recurrence). Brachytherapy treats the breast using a radiation source that works from inside the body.
Benefits of Brachytherapy
- Therapy is completed in five days
As opposed to treatments that last several weeks, brachytherapy is done in just 5 days. This minimizes the amount of time a patient has to devote to treatment and recovery while offering recurrence rates equal to whole breast radiation.
- It places the radiation inside the lumpectomy cavity
The radiation targets the area where cancer is most likely to occur: the lumpectomy cavity. Once a tumor is removed the most likely site of recurrence is within one centimeter of the lumpectomy cavity. Placing the radiation in this cavity only allows for a more targeted treatment.
- It minimizes radiation exposure to healthy tissue
Less damage to healthy tissue might mean shorter recovery time and improved cosmetic outcome.