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Internal Radiation Therapy


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We understand that our patients have work and families to tend to during the day. So our team offers therapy treatment appointments outside of typical hospital hours that work with your schedule.

Insurance Plans

View a list of insurance plans accepted at the University of Miami Health System.

Internal radiation therapy, also called brachytherapy, uses radioactive substances to deliver radiation from inside the body. These substances may be injected into your body or implanted as pellets or other devices. The substances are implanted within tumors so that intense radiation can destroy the cancerous cells, while healthy surrounding cells remain intact.

Who is a Candidate?

Not all types of cancer can be treated with internal radiation therapy. Internal radiation therapy is often used for certain types of cancer, including:

What to Expect

Brachytherapy is a type of internal radiation therapy that delivers radioactive substances directly to cancerous tissue to minimize damage to normal tissue. This type of radiation therapy effectively treats cancers that affect a localized area and respond well to a high dose of radiation.

To deliver internal radiation therapy, your doctor uses a minimally invasive approach utilizing catheters (small, thin tubes) placed through incisions in your body. Your doctor will implant tiny pellets or capsules of radioactive substances inside your body.

There are several brachytherapy techniques, including:

Low-dose-rate (LDR)

Pellets are implanted inside or next to the tumor for a few days before they’re removed. We use LDR brachytherapy to treat prostate and eye cancers.

High-dose-rate (HDR)

Catheters are placed inside the tumor for a few minutes and then removed. Our sophisticated equipment lets us customize the dose to your specific needs. We use HDR brachytherapy for breast, gynecologic, and lung cancers.

Permanent implants (seed implantation)

Pellets are placed inside or near the tumor and left permanently. The radioactivity level of the pellets weakens slowly over time and will have lost all radioactivity after several months. We use seed implantation to treat prostate cancer.

Liver embolization (radioembolization)

Called selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT), this approach places tiny radioactive pellets in a liver tumor. SIRT is only used for liver cancer — this therapy doesn’t work on tumors outside the liver.

Your doctor will help you understand your internal radiation therapy procedure and any possible side effects you may experience.

Why Choose Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center?

Care from a highly-specialized cancer team. Each of our radiation oncologists specializes in treating specific areas of cancer. In many cases, our physicians exclusively treat only certain types of cancer, giving them a distinct breadth and depth of knowledge in the field. This knowledge and expertise ensure you receive the correct treatment for your type of cancer.

Leading-edge radiation therapy technology. We are pioneers in MRI-guided therapy, which is the latest approach to radiation therapy. As one of only a handful of cancer treatment centers in the world to use this technology, we can precisely target cancer cells with greater accuracy. We utilize advanced treatment techniques, including brachytherapy, to improve the efficacy of radiation treatment while preserving healthy organs and tissues.

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