Brachytherapy for my girlfriend (children mentioned)


I'm new to this forum but thought it would be a good idea to join. 

My girlfriend has glassy cell carcinoma and the doctor's told her that she now has two options: brachytherapy or "shots" (she couldn't remember the name of the treatment). She's going to opt for the brachytherapy because apparently the shots are experimental, but shes very scared of the brachytherapy. She works very hard, and is the mother of two very sweet little girls. 

We're all worried about how the treatment might effect her. If anybody could share their experiences with the treament (how it made you feel etc...) it would be very much appreciated. 

I look forward to hearing about your experiences - thank you. 

Hiya, sorry to hear o. Your girlfriends diagnosis, I don't know anything about the treatment but didint want to read and not reply

youve came to the right place and I'm sure one of the many lovely ladies on here will be able to help you, if you type in the search bar 

brachytherapy it should come up with all the discussions on the forum in regards to that. 



Hello, I hope you find the website useful, it definitely is the place to ask questions - hopefully you get the answers.  

I've had brachy so I can tell you my experience of it , however the treatments differ due to the dose rate, high or low,  therefore I hope some of the ladies who have had a different experience to me, will come on here and tell you how it was for them.

My treatment lasted no more than half an hour and was no more invasive nor painful than inserting a tampax. I'm sorry oif that's too much info for you being a man I mean however you will also find on this website that we ladies tend to be frank & openly descriptive, your girlfriend will understand!

Treatment involves having radioactive rods (again very slim, pencil-like) inserted into the vagina.  These are attached to the machine which delivers the shot of radiotherapy.  They position them inside you then x-ray the area to ensure they are in the correct position. Once that's achieved, they leaave the room and deliver the 'shot'.  You don't feel it happening - you just have to try & lie still whilst it's going on.  In my case I think it was about 10 - 15 mins.  Then they remove the rods - that's it.  I didn't have to  stay away from people, I wasn't radioactive or anything and I felt perfectly fine afterwards.  However - as I say - there are different doses of radiotherapy and the length of time the rods stay in place varies. 

As I say, hopefully other ladies with different experiences will also share their experience with you.  If your girlfriend has the experience I had then she should be fine with it.  The trauma of your situation takes more out of you I find.

Hope your girlfriend gets on ok, God Bless you both - and the litle girls.



Don't worry about being descriptive. My girlfriend doesn't hold any gory details back with me hahaha I'm pretty sure she is going to do the high dose treatment. Thank you so much for sharing Sharon - i really appreciate. The process doesn't seem too bad, and that really puts me at ease, i'll be sure to pass on your experience to her.

You mentioned you felt prefectly fine afterwards.... you really didn't feel sick or bed riden or have any other adverse effects to it? Shes worried about not being able to work. The doctor apparently gave her a "look" that implied that she was going to feel super sick afterwards. 



Thank you so much! I checked it out and there was definitely lots of useful information! But it wouldn't hurt to get more and hear more stories! 

Again - Thank you both! 

Hello J1886 - just one thing I forgot & ought to add.  She may have to use dilators for some time following  brachy.  The treatment can cause the soft tissue of the lining of the vagina to 'fuse' together, therefore there is a need, for obvious reasons, to prevent this from happening.  In my case I also had 25 sessions of radiotherapy which also causes this, so I definitely have to do this.  I'm not sure if it is necessary after brachy alone - the nurses & doctors will advise her of this when she goes for treatment. I'll also add that if this is the case, it's nothing to worry about.

I know there are other ladies on here who've had brachy - I'd hoped they'd come on & share their experience so that you can hear a range of stories - LADIES, WHERE ARE YOU??! 


I had brachytherapy after having 28 external beam treatments.

For me when the rods were inserted I was under a GA  - this was for about 30 mins whilst the oncologist positioned the rods and 'packed' them so they wouldnt move.  After that I had an MRI scan (1st treatment only) and CT scan (both treatments) to check the positions etc.   Then I was taken to the treatment room where the rods were connected to the machine to deliver the radiotherapy.  The treatment itself took about 10 - 15 mins (this can vary).  I was due for a third treatment but the scans showed no tumor mass to treat.

Overall the experience wasnt as bad as I had anticipated, although I did find it uncomfortable - apparantly my oncologist likes to use a lot of packing !!!  After the treatment I felt tired, but I had a GA so it could be the effects of that, plus the cummulative effects of the external radio, chemo and brachy.

The treatment team were great, and made me laugh a lot - which really helped me with the process

Hope all goes well




I also had brachytherapy high dose, but at the hospital that I was treated they give you a spinal anaesthetic before the treatment. They insert the cannisters inside you in the operating room, then you have a CT scan and sometimes a MRI as well, wait a few hours while they plan your treatment and then as Sharon said the treatment lasts a few minutes, then they remove everything! I was catheterised due to spinal anaesthetic and could go home as soon as I'd had a normal wee! I found it painless and fortunately have had no side effects :-)