Can I just have brachytherapy alone to treat my cervical cancer?
Usually, brachytherapy is a part of the treatment protocol which includes EBRT and chemotherapy. Your doctor will discuss your treatment with you.
I’ve never heard of brachytherapy, how do I know if it’s any good?
Brachytherapy has been used to effectively treat cancer for over 100 years. It is very effective and is recognized as the standard treatment in combination with external beam radiotherapy for cervical cancer in many countries.
If the cancer comes back, can I choose to have brachytherapy again?
Yes, this is possible. Brachytherapy can be used in case of cancer recurrence. Your doctor will recommend the most appropriate treatment or a treatment combination.
Will I lose my hair during the radiotherapy course?
It would be unusual for you to lose your hair during brachytherapy. Hair loss is more likely during a course of chemotherapy.
How long do I have to stay in the hospital, how many treatments I will receive?
How long you stay in the hospital really depends on the tumor stage and which type of brachytherapy is used – intracavitary or combined intracavitary/interstitial. The most common situation is when brachytherapy is used after a course of EBRT. There are different protocols which include 3 or 4 brachytherapy treatments. Patients leave the hospital after the procedure of spend a night in the hospital to get two procedures.
Will the brachytherapy procedure hurt?
No. Brachytherapy is usually performed under anesthesia.
How I will know that brachytherapy has worked?
Your doctor will perform a follow up usually at 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 48 and 60 months after treatment. The follow-up can include gynecological examination, blood test, MRI and CT examination, questions about side effects and quality of life. The results of the follow-up will tell if the treatment was effective.