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Brachytherapy for oral cancer

General

Brachytherapy is a form of radiation therapy where one or more radioactive sources (iridium) are inserted close to or into the tumor .

Benefits compared to external radiation treatment

  • Problem with positioning of patient and organ movement is eliminated.
  • Allows increased dose to the target volume and thereby possible increase in curative potential.
  • Shorter treatment time
  • Saves normal tissue structures.

Disadvantages of brachytherapy

  • Invasive procedure with the need for anesthesia

To ensure the irradiation of possible microscopic cancer outside the tumor, brachytherapy is always given in combination with conformal (organ configured) external radiation therapy.

Indication

  • Boost treatment for cancer on the floor of the mouth, tongue/root of the tongue.

Goal

  • Eliminate tumor
  • Eliminate residual tumor if treatment is given postoperatively.

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