Brachytherapy - What happens?

My mum's been told she's having 3 sessions of Brachytherapy, what happens?


Do you go for three seperate days? how often and what do they do? i just need to put her mind at rest...


Sorry for mithering x :o(

Hi shavorne,

i wrote a long post on brachytherapy and it seems to have gone lost through the ether.


i had 3 brachys and they were done as outpatient and I had the high dose therapy That lasts 10-15 minutes. You can have it done under a GA or have epidural. I had my first under GA and the last 2 I chose the epidurals. I was in hospital for about 6 hours each time.

Brachytherapy is when the doctor inserts applicators inside the vagina and the brachytherapy targets the tumour directly. Your mum's brachy is mri guided so it will be very accurate as it will take into account the position and size of the tumour and dosage will be done accordingly. Also this will ensure that healthy tissues and organs such as bladder and bowels are not affected -less side effects long term.

she will need a blood test before to check if she is not anaemic.


let me know if you need more info.


big hugs,


how come your in hospital for 6 hours if it only takes 20 minutes Naz?

my mums asked why you changed to epidural for the second two? x


i really appreciate your advice x


tell your mum not to worry.

the process is long for several reasons:

for me, I had a 8am appointment but as the doctor was not there on time :-)  I had to wait! You see the radiologist, then you see the anaesthetist who explain everything that is going to happen, then you get changed, get taken to the room, see the doc, get put under or get the epidural, ...then the doc will start inserting the applicators one by one, then get taken tfor the scan, then get back to the room where the radiation tajes place and that procedure last 10-15 minutes.once done you get taken to the recovery room, get something to eat and drink, wait for the doc to come and see you and tell you how it all went and of course you get the applicators and catheter removed. Then you have to wait again to see if you can go to the loo and pass urine without any trouble. They will not let you go until they know you have peed properly!  That is how it was for me.


I li had the GA for the first brachytherapy but when she removed the applicators it really hurt me and the gas and air did not only lasted a few seconds but I thought I cant go through this again. When I told the girls at radiology the next day they told me I should have been offered morphine as well and why not go for the epidural next time.


The epidural was much better for me, the recovery time the same as the GA but as I was still numb down there when they removed the applicators I never felt any pain.


i know other ladies who had the brachy under GA and they had no pain at all. could it be that I have never had children that had something to do with this, probably But the fact remains that your Mum has a choice.


Brachytherapy is so effective and  will kill off the  cancer cells.


Hope this makes if not, let me know!


Big hugs to you both,





I'm sorry you had pain Naz x


Thank you so so much for replying, my mum feels a little better now x as with most things, its the fear of the unknown x

thanks again x your a star x


Hope she continues to feel better. I am sure brachy will be straightforward for her as it is for  the majority.

Days leading to the procedure and after the procedure Make sure she drinks plenty of cranberry juice to avoid getting cystitis.

Big hugs,




My mum's going for her first brachy tomorrow. She's nervous but i've tried to reassure her that she will be taken care of and they know what they are doing. Im a bit on edge myself. The consultant said when she puts the applicators in she can have a look at my mum to see what effect the chemo radio has had.

Why am I scared to death in case it hasnt worked? My mum is 2b like you were Naz.


Did you worry about it not working?


I have had bracatherpy and I found it to be fine but very painful when they took the rods out and I had some discomfort afterwards and for a few weeks after but I feel fine now.

Everyone who deals with cancer of any kind worries that the treatment that they have received/are receiving won't work and this is a constant thing that goes through your head.

My cancer is advanced and I am 28, I've not really worried about the what ifs since the beginning and since then I've been getting nothing but good news but I've been for a general review today and I've got to have all my scans again to see if the treatment has worked. To be honest this is the first time I am nervous about the results I do think the treatment has worked but before each time I had a scan I had another treatment of some kind to come so I felt I had a back up so to speak but now my treatment is over I haven't got that reassurance.

I know I'm being silly as I know my body as each time I went for a scan I knew in my heart that the treatment was working. 

Hi Carmel :-)

Just wanted to send you a great big hug for your next set of scans. We both know just how frightening the run-up to tests can be so I shall be thinking of you and keeping my fingers crossed for you that it has now shrunk from the size of a pea to invisible :-)


Be lucky :-)

Hi tivoli - thank you so much!

i am feeling a little bit worried but I think it's because there is no more treatment to follow but I'll be fine I'm sure!

i hope you are well x