Radiation therapy is one of the most important treatments for a cancer patient. And now focusing that therapy can also minimize any negative impact.
“Brachytherapy is also focal radiation therapy. Whereas the external beam goes through the body – there’s a lot of collateral damage in the sense the tissues are exposed to radiation. Brachytherapy is very focalized internal radiation where you’re focusing and limiting the radiation exposure to just the tumor cavity tissues,” says Dr. Chance Matthiesen with the Freeman Cancer Institute.
And that can mean a much shorter treatment for a patient with breast cancer.
“A plus for women with early stage breast cancer with the brachytherapy technique, we can change what used to be a 6 week to 7 week course of radiation and reduce it down to just one week,” says Dr. Chance Matthiesen.
Of course, that can make the process more complicated – everything from diagnosis through treatment.
“Breast cancer is so complex now it takes a whole team of doctors to decide who’s the best candidate and a whole team of doctors to make sure the treatment plan is performed correctly – that the candidate is identified appropriately and that the treatment is done successfully,” says Dr. Matthiesen.
The Freeman Medical Focus was sponsored by Freeman Health System.