Brachytherapy: A Weapon of Hope

MicroSelectron HDR (high dose rate) remote afterloading Brachytherapy gives Beverly Oncology a powerful weapon against cancer.  The MicroSelectron HDR is a high dose rate, intraluminal, interstitial, intracavitary and intraoperative remote Afterloading system with a built in simulator source.  Using the latest in computerization, it permits precisely targeted irradiation and accuracy and safety never before attainable.

What is Brachytherapy?
It is the direct, internal application of a small radiation source to the tissues via specialized catheters, placed in a natural cavity or in the tumor itself.  This allows for the direct irradiation of cancerous tissue.  Brachytherapy can be used in place of, or as a complement to, external beam irradiation.

Remote Afterloading Brachytherapy allows the physician to focus radiation with extreme precision on the cancerous tissue, placing the radiation source directly in or around the tumor site.  The risk of damage to surrounding healthy tissue is therefore, minimized.  Higher-risk patients can now be treated since more intensive patient care can be administered without undue risk of radiation exposure to personnel.  Because of the extra safety offered by this method, stronger radiation can be used.  Treatment times can be shorter and the radiation more effective in treating the tumor.  Frequently, remote Afterloading Brachytherapy can be administered on an outpatient basis, and expenses related to hospital admissions and operating room costs can be avoided or minimized.

About the Treatment
A specially designed catheter is placed in the tumor, depending in the site of the tumor, the catheter may be inserted in the Brachytherapy room instead of the operating room.  After the catheter is precisely positioned it is connected to the remote Afterloading Brachytherapy unit.  The radiation source is sent to the tumor site under the supervision of the physician.  The radiation therapists, on a closed-circuit television camera, observe the patient.  The patient is provided with an intercom system to enable direct communication with the medical team.  Treatment time takes about 10-20 minutes, depending on the individual circumstances and the type of cancer being treated.  Three (3) to ten (10) treatments are usually required, depending on each situation.  Most of the time, this treatment is used in conjunction with external radiation therapy.

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