Cancer Treatments: Brachytherapy

A radiation oncologist and expert in brachytherapy, Dr. Laurie Cuttino treats patients with cancer through Henrico Doctor’s Hospital of Richmond, Virginia. Brachytherapy works by placing radioactive material strategically in the body to shrink or eliminate cancerous tumors. When professionals like Dr. Laurie Cuttino carry out the procedure, they may rely on CT scanners or other imaging technologies to ensure that the material is inserted in the proper location.

Brachytherapy comes in several different types, including high-dose and low-dose options. The former is usually administered as an outpatient procedure and involves inserting radioactive materials into a patient for time periods of up to 20 minutes. The low-dose option takes longer to administer, because patients receive small amounts of radiation over hours and days; low-dose brachytherapy patients stay at the hospital over the course of their treatment.

Some patients may benefit from a third option, permanent brachytherapy, which entails permanently implanting material that emits low-dose radiation into the body. The amount of radiation given off by the material decreases over time.

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