What are the potential benefits of brachytherapy?
Brachytherapy is a very effective treatment for cervical cancer.
- Standard of care: brachytherapy in combination with external beam radiotherapy has become the standard treatment for locally advanced cervical cancer around the world. A recent study showed that treatment of locally advanced cervical cancer was more effective when brachytherapy was used. 1
- Minimized side effects: the accurate and targeted nature of brachytherapy reduces the risk of side effects (see the side effects section).1,2
- Minimally invasive: if brachytherapy is used on its own in early cervical cancer, it avoids the need for major surgery.3
- Short treatment time: patients can usually be treated with brachytherapy on an outpatient basis over the course of one week.4 (This means that you may not need an overnight stay in hospital). Patients are usually able to get back to their normal activities quickly.
1. Han K et al. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2013 Sep 1;87(1):111-9
2. Viani GA, Manta GB, Stefano EJ, de Fendi LI. Brachytherapy for cervix cancer:low-dose rate or high-dose rate brachytherapy - a meta-analysis of clinical trials. J Exp Clin Cancer Res 2009;28:47
3. National Cancer Institute. Available at: www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/cervical/healthprofessional/allpages. Accessed March 2014
4. Quinn MA, Benedet JL, Odicino F et al. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2006;95:S105-S143