External beam radiation therapy
External beam radiation therapy is radiation delivered from outside the body and directed at your cancer site.
External beam radiation therapy is a very common treatment option, and many people with cancer have it. It’s painless, and you don’t see or feel the actual treatment. In most cases, you’ll be able to continue with your daily routine after each treatment.
How does external beam radiation therapy work?
Depending upon the treatment location, different energies of radiation are used.
- Low-energy radiation doesn’t penetrate deeply into the body, and it’s mainly used to treat surface sites (particularly on or just under the skin)
- High-energy radiation is used to treat deeper cancer sites
Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
IMRT improves on 3D conformal radiation therapy by modifying the intensity of the radiation within each of the radiation beams.
This allows more precise adjustment of radiation doses to the tissues within the target area
Brachytherapy involves placing radioactive sources in or next to the cancer.
This is usually done at the same time, or after, external beam radiation therapy.
Brachytherapy is very important in the treatment of vaginal, cervical and uterine cancers.
There are two main types of brachytherapy:
- Low-dose-rate brachytherapy – generally not used in the treatment of gynaecological cancers
- High-dose-rate brachytherapy – this is given over the course of several minutes, but the entire procedure typically takes a few hours. You may be able to go home immediately after this treatment.
Pre treatment Gynaecological
After your initial consultation, the next step is to help you prepare for your treatment with a CT scan.