Internal Radiation Therapy

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Internal radiation therapy, also called brachytherapy, is a type of radiation to treat cancer. The source of radiation is placed in your body or on an area of your body close to the tumor. It is used to shrink the tumor or kill the cancer cells. Brachytherapy may be used with other treatments such as external radiation therapy, medicines, and surgery.

AFTER YOU LEAVE:

Medicines:

  • Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.

  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your oncologist as directed:

You may need to come back every day for 1 week or more. You may need to return to have your incisions, brachytherapy seeds, or catheters checked. You will need to see your oncologist for tests and ongoing treatment. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Contact your oncologist if:

  • You cannot make it to your next appointment.

  • You have a fever.

  • You have a cough or sore throat, or feel weak and achy.

  • You have nausea or vomiting.

  • You have trouble having a bowel movement or urinating.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have chest pain or shortness of breath.

  • You have changes in your ability to see, speak, or think.

  • You have a severe headache or a seizure.

  • You have severe abdominal or hip pain.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Internal Radiation Therapy (Discharge Care)

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