Esophageal Cancer High-Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy
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High-Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy for Esophageal Cancer
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), we use high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy to provide precise radiation treatment while sparing surrounding healthy tissues.
This type of internal radiation therapy allows for high doses of radiation to be placed in or around esophageal cancer to accurately destroy the cancerous cells. HDR brachytherapy allows your radiation oncologist to administer high doses of radiation with minimal exposure to healthy tissues in the esophagus and nearby stomach.
Unlike some brachytherapy techniques, HDR brachytherapy uses temporary pellets placed in the body through thin, hollow catheters. The positioning of the catheters is extremely precise, ensuring the pellets are placed properly. The pellets are left on or around the tumor to deliver the correct amount of radiation. We use computer guidance systems to control how far the pellets go into the catheters and how long they stay in the catheters. This method of radiation treatment offers a quicker, more effective way to give radiation to patients who qualify.
Difficulty swallowing is a common side effect of esophageal cancer radiation treatment. A feeding tube is often inserted before radiation treatment occurs, and an esophageal stent can be put in after treatment to keep the esophagus open.
HDR brachytherapy can be used as a palliative measure for esophageal cancer patients to stop or lessen active bleeding in the esophagus.
Radiation therapy can also be combined with chemotherapy to treat esophageal cancer. The course of treatment depends on the stage and type of esophageal cancer.
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