Information for Patients

About Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy is a form of radiation therapy for cancers in which the radiation source is placed directly in contact with the malignancy. This is in contrast to most radiation treatments, which use radiation beams produced artificially from an X-ray machine.

Brachytherapy has a long history, in that it has been used to effectively treat cancers for around a hundred years. In particular, brachytherapy has had a very prominent place in the treatments for gynaecological cancers for most of this period, but it has also been commonly used for suitable cases of skin tumours, head & neck tumours, prostate cancers, and breast cancers, over this much of this time.

Glossary of terms

Adjuvant therapy

A necessary addition to current treatments. An example is chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery to prevent the return of cancer.


The loss of feeling or sensation as a result of drugs. General anesthesia causes temporary loss of consciousness (“puts you to sleep”). Local or regional anesthesia numbs only a certain area.


Brachytherapy FAQs

What is Brachytherapy ?

Brachytherapy (from the Greek brachy, meaning "short"), also known as sealed source radiotherapy or endocurietherapy, is a form of radiotherapy where a radioactive source is placed inside or next to the area requiring treatment. Brachytherapy is commonly used to treat localized prostate cancer, cervical cancer and cancers of the head and neck.


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