Brachytherapy is a cancer treatment in which the medical team places radioactive material inside the body to directly treat the tumor or tumor site. This treatment allows the team to use more intense radiation safely and in a shorter and more convenient course of treatment. It is sometimes called internal radiation.
Brachytherapy differs from traditional radiation treatment, which uses technology to "shoot" radiation into a portion of the body from the outside. In brachytherapy, the medical team places the radiation in direct contact with the cancer, protecting the surrounding healthy tissue.
However, brachytherapy is not for all patients nor all types of cancers. Brachytherapy is often used along with external radiation treatment.
Legacy Cancer Institute has the longest experience in the region with brachytherapy with the largest number of patients, and now has many years of exceptional patient outcomes. Learn more about our outcomes for breast brachytherapy patients.
Benefits of brachytherapy
Among the benefits of brachytherapy:
- Less exposure to radiation
- Shorter treatment time
- Reduced side effects
- Improved cosmetic outcomes
Brachytherapy to treat breast cancer
Brachytherapy for breast cancer is a form of accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI). It focuses radiation on a smaller area and is a good alternative to standard radiation therapy for breast cancer patients with early stage breast cancers that show no evidence of having spread.
As with most treatments, brachytherapy has pros and cons. It is more invasive than standard radiation therapy and is not appropriate for all patients.
Under the leadership of Legacy Cancer Institute radiation oncologist Mark Schray, M.D., Legacy was the first in the region to adopt breast brachytherapy and now has nearly 10 years of experience, the most brachytherapy patients in the area, and exceptional outcomes for our patients.
See our results.
Our breast brachytherapy specialists
Mark Schray, M.D., radiation oncologist
Misa Lee, M.D., radiation oncologist
Brachytherapy to treat prostate cancer
Prostate brachytherapy is an excellent alternative to surgery or external radiation treatments. We have the most experience in the region with using brachytherapy to treat prostate cancer. Brachytherapy offers a lower risk of incontinence and impotence. This is an outpatient procedure, where tiny capsules (seeds) of radioactive material are placed throughout the prostate. They give off radiation over time to kill the cancer, and then become inactive.
Legacy Cancer Institute has been treating patients with prostate brachytherapy since March, 1996. Since then, we’ve treated more than 1,800 patients. Our prostate brachytherapy specialist is radiation oncologist Mark Schray, M.D.
Questions about brachytherapy?
For more information, please call 503-413-7135. A physician referral is required for consultation and treatment.