Radiation

Although brachytherapy is very effective in treating cancer, external beam therapy is commonly prescribed instead, as it doesn’t require a surgeon to be present during treatment. In brachytherapy, the radiation is delivered with a high level of accuracy using small needles inserted close to the tumour. Due to the targeted and precise nature of delivering the radiotherapy from inside the body, it has a minimized risk of side effects, is a minimally invasive technique (doesn’t involve extensive surgery), can be performed on an outpatient basis, requires very short treatment times, and has short recovery times. Furthermore, if a patient receives brachytherapy as a first line treatment, they can receive external beam therapy at a latter date. However, brachytherapy cannot be done after a patient has been treated with external beam radiation.