To treat a woman who still has a uterus with brachytherapy, radioactive material is placed in a metal tube (called a tandem) inside the uterus along with small metal holders (ovoids) or ring holders placed near the cervix. If the woman had a hysterectomy and no longer has a uterus, the tube containing radioactive material is placed in the vagina.
Depending on your case, you may have low-dose or high-dose brachytherapy. Low-dose rate brachytherapy is finished over the course of a few days. You must be hospitalized for this treatment with instruments holding the radioactive material exactly in place.
High-dose rate brachytherapy involves several treatments, usually a week apart, conducted on an out-patient basis. For each treatment, radioactive material is inserted inside your uterus or vagina, precisely positioned near the malignancy. It is removed after a few minutes.
Intracavity brachytherapy can be used alone, or it can be combined with EBRT when radiation is the main treatment for cervical cancer.
Chemotherapy treatment for cervical cancer
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill malignant cells or stop them from dividing. Injected into a vein or swallowed, these anti-cancer drugs enter your bloodstream and can reach cancer cells in most areas of your body. Chemo is usually administered in cycles, with a period of treatment followed by a period of recovery.
Chemotherapy can be an important part of treatment for cervical cancer. Some doctors prescribe radiation therapy along with chemotherapy before a hysterectomy for cervical cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
May 18, 2023
Janet O’Dell, RN