Radiation oncologists at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center offer brachytherapy for cancer patients.
Brachytherapy places radiation seeds internally, in or near the tumor.
The procedure may be offered to appropriate early-stage breast cancer patients shortly after their lumpectomy.
Breast brachytherapy is a more localized means of treatment than external beam radiation therapy. Therefore, healthy breast, skin, rib, muscle, lung and heart tissue is exposed to lower doses of radiation. Treatment is given twice a day for five days.
The University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center offers both low-dose rate and high-dose rate brachytherapy to selected patients with cervical cancer.
The choice between high-dose and low-dose rate brachytherapy will be made on an individual basis by your physician. At the Carbone Cancer Center, most gynecologic brachytherapy is delivered with high-dose rate systems.
Radiation oncologists perform "mesh brachytherapy" for lung cancer patients in conjunction with our thoracic oncology surgeons. This procedure may be recommended for patients with early stage lung cancer at the time of a wedge resection (a surgical procedure removing a small part of the lung.) Radiation seeds are placed along the staple line to try and prevent recurrence of cancer in the same lung.
The UW Carbone Cancer Center is the only facility in the state to offer Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) wedge resection with brachytherapy as a treatment for high risk lung cancer patients.
Radioactive "seed" implants or prostate brachytherapy may offer an effective treatment option for men with early stage prostate cancer that is less disruptive to their lives than standard radiation treatment.
After a prostate cancer diagnosis, physicians can plan and perform brachytherapy in two short hospital visits. Conventional radiation therapy requires 35 to 44 separate one-half hour visits, and surgery for removal of the prostate requires three days in the hospital.
Prostate brachytherapy also allows the patient to leave the hospital the day of the implantation and carries no risk to family members. Those who use prostate brachytherapy to treat prostate cancer may resume light activities within two to three days after the procedure and regular activities within one to two weeks.