Brachytherapy-Internal Radiotherapy

Brachytherapy, also known as internal radiotherapy, is a specialized treatment method involving the placement of radioactive sources within or near the tumor. This targeted approach allows for the delivery of high doses of radiation directly to the affected area while minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy tissues. It’s a highly effective technique used in the treatment of various cancers, enabling precise and localized radiation therapy to combat tumors with minimal impact on neighboring organs or tissues.

Understanding Plaque Radiotherapy

Plaque radiotherapy, a form of brachytherapy, serves as an effective treatment for certain types of eye cancer. This procedure involves the use of a small radioactive disc known as a plaque.

Plaque Radiotherapy Process

  • Targeted High-Dose Radiation: A radioactive metal disc of varying sizes is placed over the affected area of the eye, emitting continuous radiation, precisely targeting and treating a localized region.
  • Limited Impact: The treatment focuses solely on the part of the eye covered by the plaque, minimizing effects on other body areas.

Plaque Attachment and Hospital Stay

  • Surgical Attachment: An operation, often under general anesthesia, attaches the plaque to the eye. Patients typically stay in the hospital for a few days due to the potential risk of radiation exposure to others while the plaque remains in place.
  • Temporary Placement: The plaque is removed before discharge, ensuring no residual radioactivity remains in the eye.

Treatment Explanation and Suitability

  • Indications for Eye Cancer: Plaque radiotherapy is suitable for specific eye cancers like melanoma localized within the eye, excluding cases with excessive thickness where the radiation may not effectively reach all cancerous cells.
  • Treatment Planning: The treatment’s dosage and duration depend on factors such as cancer thickness, size, and the plaque used. Detailed planning precedes the procedure to ensure accurate and effective treatment.

Surgical Procedure

  • Plaque Attachment Operation: The surgical process, lasting approximately an hour, involves sewing the plaque over the affected area. The inner lining containing radioactive treatment directly targets the cancer, with an outer protective shield.
  • Postoperative Care: Patients may experience some discomfort or pain, managed with prescribed painkillers. However, the radiation from the plaque itself is typically not felt.

Hospital Stay and Precautions

Radiation Precautions: Patients are placed in a dedicated hospital room due to the minimal radiation emitted by the plaque, with restrictions on visitors’ time, especially for pregnant women and children, to minimize exposure.

Ongoing Monitoring and Care

Regular Checks and Protection: Nurses monitor the eye for signs of inflammation or infection, providing necessary eye drops to prevent infections while the plaque is in place.

This revised version outlines the process and precautions involved in plaque radiotherapy for eye cancer, highlighting the treatment process, safety measures, and postoperative care.

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