Mammalogy:Breast cancer — Brachytherapy. Treatment abroad
In recent years, the death rate from breast cancer (BC) began to decrease gradually. 20 years ago, the disease killed about 30% patients, but today the number of deaths has declined to 20%. This is explained by both early detection of tumors and improved approaches to their treatment. One of the modern methods of combating the breast cancer is brachytherapy.
Brachytherapy is a kind of radiation therapy, in which the radiation source is applied directly to the tumor focus. Radioactive material emits very low doses of radiation, which are, nevertheless, sufficient to kill the cancer cells.
The method advantages include:
- Low exposure of healthy tissues to radiation.
- Fewer complications compared to external radiotherapy.
- A short course of treatment and rapid return of the patients to regular lifestyle.
For breast cancer, brachytherapy is used after surgery (lumpectomy or partial mastectomy). At an early stage of the disease, this technique can also be used as the sole treatment method, but this practice has not been studied in clinical trials.
There are two options of the procedure:
- Interstitial brachytherapy. Multiple catheters are installed around the resected tumor bed, through which the radioactive pellets are injected. After a few days, the catheters with emitting material are removed.
- Balloon brachytherapy. A small balloon filled with salt water is placed near the removed gland. 2 times a day, the radioactive particles are added to it via a thin tube, which are then extracted in a short time. Manipulations are repeated for 5 days, after which the balloon is removed and emptied.
The treatment side effects occur in the area where the radio emitting source was implanted. Typically, the patients report skin redness, bruising and pain in the chest. These negative phenomena pass away within 2 to 3 weeks after the treatment course completion. In rare cases, for several years after brachytherapy, the broken ribs are possible, but they are set without intervention.
At the discretion of the physician, the brachytherapy may be used in combination with external remote radiation.Hide
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