Advance Brachytherapy in India for Cancer treatment
Are you looking for a substitute for surgery and chemotherapy to get rid of cancer?
Cancer is often associated with a fear that cancer cannot get reversed. But within the last few decades, the healthcare industry has seen a significant inclusion of the latest technologies to improve better health outcomes.
One of the latest additions to cancer treatment is internal radiation therapy, which enables you to get a customized treatment for cancer without undergoing surgery or chemotherapy.
Brachytherapy has emerged as a potential treatment option that enables the reversal of cancer without surgery or chemotherapy.
The precise brachytherapy has been quite effective in treating cancer with minimal risk.
Moreover, the minimally invasive brachytherapy does not require frequent visits to the hospitals or prolonged hospitalization.
If you are scared of surgery and you do not wish to undergo chemotherapy you can opt for Brachytherapy in India like Emmanuel from Rwanda did.
Emmanuel, a 53-year-old corporate lawyer was leading a happy life with his beautiful wife and three adorable children. However, suddenly the happiness of the family shattered after Emmanuel was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Emmanuel, a busy lawyer, had a family history of cancer, thereby he took the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test once every year. The diagnosis of prostate cancer had shattered everyone, especially Marie, Emmanuel’s wife.
Soon after the diagnosis, Marie started looking for doctors who could treat Emmanuel. But the greatest hiccough that the family was facing was Emmanuel’s fear of getting operated on. Marie and Emmanuel looked for doctors who provided non-surgical treatment to remove cancer.
Meanwhile, Emmanuel’s elder daughter, Aline, got to know about Brachytherapy and she searched for clinics that offered brachytherapy in India with a high success rate. After searching for a while she came across the MedicoExpert website and left a query regarding the procedure with us.
Once our sales team received her query they contacted Aline and asked her to share the medical reports of Mr Emmanuel. After we received the medical reports of Mr Emmanuel we asked Aline for the availability of the family for a video consultation with one of the board-certified empanelled doctors.
On confirming the availability of the family for the procedure our team arranged a virtual consultation for Emmanuel. During the virtual video consultation, our doctor answered all the questions that the family had about the procedure. After the consultation, the family was sure about the procedure and they decided to fly to India to get the treatment done.
Soon after the family reached India, our team ensured hassle-free admission of Mr Emmanuel to a NABH and JCI accredited hospital for the procedure.
Soon after the admission, the doctors conducted a few tests to confirm Emmanuels’s eligibility to undergo the procedure. Once the doctors were sure that Emmanuel is fit enough to undergo Brachytherapy they started the procedure for him.
Before the doctors started brachytherapy they suggested a few imaging tests like a CT scan and MRI scan for Emmanuel to know the exact location of cancer. Once the location of the cancer was confirmed the team of doctors planned the best way to deliver the radiation to kill the cancer cells.
The doctors decided on the treatment for Emmanuel and planned internal radiation for a few weeks for him. After a few weeks, Emmanuel was cancer-free. The family was happy with the treatment and flew back to Rwanda with happy memories.
Like Emmanuel, you can also get rid of your cancer without going under the knife with brachytherapy in India. But first, let us understand more about brachytherapy,
Brachytherapy, often called internal radiation therapy is a minimally invasive procedure in which the doctors deliver radiation inside the body to kill cancer cells. In some cases, the doctor places radioactive material inside the body that emits radioactive waves to kill cancer cells.
Brachytherapy is a custom-tailored approach to killing cancer cells while reducing damage to the neighboring structures of the body.
Brachytherapy or internal radiation therapy kills the cancer cells through radiation. Before starting brachytherapy your doctor determines where to place the source of radiation. Your doctor may either place the source of radiation directly at or beside the cancerous growth inside the body.
The proper positioning of the radiation source is crucial because once the source of radiation is placed correctly you get the correct amount of radiation to kill the cancer cells. Also, by placing the radiation source correctly one decreases the damage to neighboring structures.
Usually your doctor will take suggestions from other doctors and computer software to determine the source of radiation. Once the doctor decides the source of radiation they deliver the radiation precisely at the site where there is a cancerous outgrowth.
The exact location of the cancerous outgrowth is easily determined by your doctor through various imaging tests like a CT scan or MRI scan.
Generally the radiation is delivered through a special applicator that is inserted inside the body at the site of cancer.
Brachytherapy helps to kill the cancer cells by destroying the genetic material that got mutated because of the cancer. The internal radiation therapy also prevents the growth and multiplication of cancer cells.
Brachytherapy has helped reverse cancer for several people. Generally, doctors suggest brachytherapy to reverse the following types of cancer:
- Breast cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Eye cancer
- Head and neck cancers
- Prostate cancer
- Vaginal cancer
- Uterine cancer
Apart from the above-mentioned cancer, your doctor may treat other cancers too with Brachytherapy. Sometimes your doctor may suggest internal radiation therapy with other cancer treatments to destroy cancer cells.
Brachytherapy are mainly of two types depending on the placement of implants, which are:
- Permanent brachytherapy:
As the name suggests this type of bratherpy involves insertion of implants (or seeds) that are left inside the body for some time. The implants for this type of brachytherapy are very small and are often referred to be of the size of a rice grain.
The doctor inserts these implants directly at the cancer site with the help of a thin and hollow needle.
Generally, low-dose rate brachytherapy is administered through permanent brachytherapy.
- Temporary brachytherapy:
Unlike permanent brachytherapy the implants that are inserted during a temporary brachytherapy are removed once the treatment is completed.
Usually the implants are inserted through hollow needles, catheter or fluid filled balloons.
Generally, high-dose rate brachytherapy is administered through temporary brachytherapy.
What is the difference between low dose and high dose brachytherapy?
|Low dose brachytherapy||High dose brachytherapy|
|Duration of hospitalization||May require hospitalization for a few days.||Generally, it is an out-patient procedure|
|Duration of exposure to radioactive substance||Radioactive substances are implanted inside the body for some time.||Radioactive material is placed inside your body for a short time.|
|Time taken during a sitting||May take several hours to several days||Usually takes a few minutes to half an hour for a sitting|
|How is the implant inserted?||Radioactive material is placed inside your body by hand or by machine||The radioactive implant is inserted in the brachytherapy device using a computerized machine.|
What you’ll experience during brachytherapy depends on your specific treatment.
Radiation can be given in a brief treatment session, as with high-dose-rate brachytherapy, or it can be left in place over a period of time, as with low-dose-rate brachytherapy. Sometimes the radiation source is placed in your body permanently.
High-dose-rate brachytherapy is often an outpatient procedure, which means each treatment session is brief and doesn’t require that you be admitted to the hospital.
During high-dose-rate brachytherapy, radioactive material is placed in your body for a short period — from a few minutes up to 20 minutes. You may undergo one or two sessions a day over a number of days or weeks.
You’ll lie in a comfortable position during high-dose-rate brachytherapy. Your radiation therapy team will position the radiation device. This may be a simple tube or tubes placed inside a body cavity or small needles inserted into the tumor.
The radioactive material is inserted into the brachytherapy device with the help of a computerized machine.
Your radiation therapy team will leave the room during your brachytherapy session. They’ll observe from a nearby room where they can see and hear you.
You shouldn’t feel any pain during brachytherapy, but if you feel uncomfortable or have any concerns, be sure to tell your caregivers.
Once the radioactive material is removed from your body, you won’t give off radiation or be radioactive. You aren’t a danger to other people, and you can go on with your usual activities.
During low-dose-rate brachytherapy, a continuous low dose of radiation is released over time — from several hours to several days. You’ll typically stay in the hospital while the radiation is in place.
Radioactive material is placed in your body by hand or by machine. Brachytherapy devices may be positioned during surgery, which may require anesthesia or sedation to help you remain still during the procedure and to reduce discomfort.
You’ll likely stay in a private room in the hospital during low-dose-rate brachytherapy. Because the radioactive material stays inside your body, there is a small chance it could harm other people. For this reason, visitors will be restricted.
Children and pregnant women shouldn’t visit you in the hospital. Others may visit briefly once a day or so. Your health care team will still give you the care you need, but may restrict the amount of time they spend in your room.
You shouldn’t feel pain during low-dose-rate brachytherapy. Keeping still and remaining in your hospital room for days may be uncomfortable. If you feel any discomfort, tell your health care team.
After a designated amount of time, the radioactive material is removed from your body. Once brachytherapy treatment is complete, you’re free to have visitors without restrictions.
During an interstitial brachytherapy your doctor places the implant or the radiation source directly into the cancerous overgrowth. Usually this type of brachytherapy is left inside the body for sometime.
The doctor places the radiation source inside the body cavity like the uterus or vagina during the intracavity brachytherapy.
During an unsealed internal radiation therapy your doctor injects radioactive materials into the vein or inside the body cavity.
Treatment vaccines boost your immune system’s response to cancer cells, which helps you fight cancer.
Modulators of the immune system that boost the body’s ability to fight cancer. Some of these agents target specific parts of the immune system, while others have a broader impact on the immune system.
What can you expect before brachytherapy?
The treatment experience for each individual is unique and may vary based on the shape, type of brachytherapy used, stage, size, and location of the cancerous overgrowth.
Before the procedure your doctor will advise you to undergo a few tests to ensure your overall well-being. Once your reports suggest your general well-being your doctor will advise you to undergo some imaging tests to determine the exact location of the cancer.
After determining the location of the cancer your doctor will ensure placement of the source of radiation.
Once the source of radiation is decided your doctor will start with the procedure.
What to expect during brachytherapy?
Generally doctors administer anesthesia before starting the procedure to minimize any discomfort.
Once you are under the effect of anesthesia your doctor will insert radioactive implants or seeds while carefully monitoring the position of the cancer through various imaging equipment.
Once the seeds are inserted the radiation starts to emit, thereby killing the cancer cells.
What can you expect after brachytherapy?
Once the seeds are inserted after a permanent brachytherapy, doctors may advise you to limit your interaction with people, especially young children and pregnant women for a few weeks.
However after temporary brachytherapy you can go home once the doctor has completed administering the radiation.
What are the advantages of brachytherapy?
Curiosity to keep improving has been an important factor for the evolution of humankind. Curiosity and reasoning has made people invent new things that could benefit humankind. The curiosity to treat cancer without using invasive methods has led to the invention of brachytherapy.
Apart from ensuring a minimally invasive cancer treatment method the other benefits of brachytherapy includes:
- Greater efficacy of destroying cancer cells with high level precision.
- Minimal side-effects
- Minimally invasive procedure
- The treatment does not require prolonged hospitalization
- Short recovery time
- Minimal hospital visit
However, you must understand that brachytherapy is not suitable for all.
Typically brachytherapy an option for you if:
- You want a non-surgical approach to treat your cancer.
- Surgery or other cancer treatment methods are not suitable for you.
- You have health issues that prevent you from having surgery
What is the cost of Brachytherapy in India?
India has emerged as a most sought destination for people looking for affordable brachytherapy treatment in India. The cost of internal radiation therapy in India is almost half when compared to western countries.
Typically, the cost of brachytherapy ranges between USD 900 to Usd 8000. The cost of the therapy may vary based on the location of cancer and city, hospital and the doctor you have chosen to undergo the procedure.
Frequently asked questions and patient concerns:
1. What are the advantages of brachytherapy?
Brachytherapy is a customized approach to kill cancer cells. But it also offers:
- An efficient treatment approach to kill cancer cells with high accuracy
- Minimal side-effects
- Minimally invasive approach to treat cancer
- Quick recovery
- Minimal stay at the hospital
With brachytherapy you can lead a normal cancer free life without frequent visits to the hospital for treatment.
2. What are the side-effects of brachytherapy?
Brachytherapy has minimal side-effects however soon after the procedure you may experience:
- Pain and swelling
- Burning sensation
These side-effects usually fade away within a few days. But if you feel the symptoms are too severe for you to manage consult your doctor.
3. How much time does it take to perform brachytherapy?
Typically the duration of the treatment varies on the type of brachytherapy used. In case of low-dose-rate brachytherapy it may take a few hours to several days. On the contrary the high-dose-rate brachytherapy takes less than half an hour to complete one session.
4. Where is the source of radiation placed in brachytherapy?
The source of radiation for brachytherapy is placed in such a way that the radiation destroys the cancer cells while ensuring minimal or no damage to the adjacent cells. Typically the computer software helps the doctor to select the best place to place the source of radiation.
5. What is brachytherapy and how does it work?
Brachytherapy is an innovative approach to treat cancer using minimally invasive procedures. During the brachytherapy radioactive implants or seeds are implanted in the body which emits radiation to kill the mutated cancer cells.
6. What is the difference between EBRT and brachytherapy?
During an external beam radiation therapy or EBRT radiation source is placed outside the body and the radiation passes through the body. Whereas during an internal radiation therapy or brachytherapy the source of radiation is placed inside the body which emits radiation inside the body.
7. Can brachytherapy be used after surgery?
Yes brachytherapy can be used after a failed cancer surgery. Also sometimes brachytherapy is used in combination with external radiation therapy to kill cancer cells.
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