Brachytherapy – Internal Radiation Therapy (IRT) for Cancer

1What Is Brachytherapy and the Difference between Internal and External Radiation Therapy?

Brachytherapy, also known as internal radiation therapy, is one of the two forms of radiation therapy. It is mainly used in combination with external beam radiation therapy in cancer treatments. During this procedure, an implant is attached to the body, around the area of cancer cells, and then radioactive material is sent inside. The main purpose is to get rid of cancer cells and keep them from multiplying uncontrollably. [1]

In external beam radiation therapy, radiation is sent from a machine to the area where cancer cells are located. This is an external therapy as the radiation’s source is outside of the body rather than from the inside as in internal radiation therapy. The entire process is typically painless and only lasts a couple of minutes. You may need a few outpatient visits to complete it. External beam radiation therapy is typically used in combination with other cancer treatments, especially chemotherapy and brachytherapy. [2]


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