High Dose Rate Brachytherapy is an advanced treatment option available at St. Mary Medical Center that helps to improve outcomes for people with cancer. HDR brachytherapy is used to treat cancers of the breast, lung and prostate and also is useful against cancers affecting the gynecologic, genital and urinary systems.
During this outpatient procedure, a high dose of radioactive materials is implanted through catheters directly into or near the tumor site. HDR Brachytherapy works to destroy the cancerous cells while minimizing side effects to nearby healthy tissue. The catheters and radioactive material are removed immediately after treatment, which usually lasts three to five minutes.
This HDR technique typically takes place over a period of five days, a limited amount of time compared to the five to seven weeks of traditional radiation treatment. This limits radiation exposure for patients and improves a patient's quality of life.
Radiation therapy is widely used as a treatment for many types of cancer and can be used alone or in combination with surgery or chemotherapy.