What is brachytherapy?
For brachytherapy, doctors deliver targeted radiation doses to a tumor by temporarily placing a radiation source inside the body.
Brachytherapy can effectively destroy or shrink many types of tumors. We use it for certain prostate, breast and gynecological tumors.
Brachytherapy: What to expect
Doctors use special instruments like capsules, needles or catheters (flexible tubes) to safely deliver the radiation near or inside a tumor. Your doctor may position these instruments during tumor removal surgery or a separate procedure.
Sophisticated imaging technology and computer software allow our team to expose cancer cells to very high doses of radiation while protecting nearby healthy tissues.
This allows us to maximize brachytherapy’s cancer-destroying effect while limiting side effects.
How to talk to your doctor about brachytherapy
Brachytherapy involves high-tech tools and technology. If your doctor recommends this therapy as part of your treatment plan, you may have many questions. We are here for you.
A member of our team will sit down with you before your first treatment to explain what to expect and answer your questions. We encourage you to bring up questions or concerns, whether during appointments or at home.
Your doctor will recommend a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. Our team’s skill and experience mean we can safely perform intricate brachytherapy procedures offered at few centers in the region.
We offer high-dose-rate brachytherapy. When you leave our facility after a brachytherapy treatment, you will have no radiation in your body. Your treatment poses no risk to others.
Read more radiation therapy FAQs.
Types of brachytherapy we offer
Our skilled specialists treat cancer using two types of brachytherapy:
- Interstitial brachytherapy delivers radiation directly inside a tumor.
- Intracavitary brachytherapy places a radiation source near a tumor, such as in the cervix.
Why choose us for brachytherapy
Our doctors use brachytherapy to treat many types of cancer in adults. You can access most of these services under one roof at Mays Cancer Center.
Highlights of our program include:
- Leading cancer expertise: As the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center in Central and South Texas, we follow research-backed best practices in cancer care. You may be eligible for national or local clinical trials that explore the latest radiation therapy innovations or seek to improve cancer care in different ways. Learn more about our NCI designation.
- Focused training: Each of our radiation oncologists has additional training focused on certain cancer types. This specialization means we confidently treat advanced and rare cases.
- Personalized treatment: Our radiation oncologists meet regularly — with each other and other cancer doctors — to discuss the specifics of your care. This team environment means your doctor’s treatment recommendations are backed by a wealth of cancer expertise.
- Commitment to excellence: Our team’s mission is to deliver the best possible care for every person. We continually raise the bar for patient care. We work to maximize treatment effectiveness while minimizing your discomfort or anxiety.
Cancers we treat with brachytherapy
Your doctor may recommend brachytherapy in combination with other radiation therapies or cancer treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy.
We use brachytherapy to treat: