Hi all,

I'm new to all this online forum stuff, so please be kind. Basically my mum has been diagnosed with CC and is undergoing treatment, 25 radiotherapy 5 chemo and 3 brachytherapy and Im just wondering if anyone else has had the brachytherapy and what it is was like for them?


 Both me and my mam are curious and its due to start soon but hospital havent really said much.



Thanks BeccaSmile

Hello Becca.  Sorry to hear of your mum's diagnosis, I wish her all the best.  

To answer your question - I have had brachy, 2 treatments and if it's the same treatment as I've had, I found it  no worse than using a tampon!  However, I think there are different brachy treatments.  I've read on here where some ladies are 'in treatment' for hours,  whereas mine took about 10 mins.  I think is has something to do with the dosage, either high dosage or low?  I hope some of the other ladies on here will also tell you how their brachy was administered so that you are aware of what is involved.  The nurses & doctors at the hospital where I had my treatment were fantastic, explaining in detail what would take place for me.  On the day they were equally brilliant, reassuring, kind, professional.  For the treatment I had, 2 metal rods, no bigger than the size of tampax are inserted into the vagina.  They are attached to the machine delivering the radiotherapy.  Once they are in place, the radiographers will leave the room & they will xray the area to ensure the rods are in the correct place.  They come back into the room to tell you they are in the correct position, they leave while the radiotherapy is delivered.  It took about 10 mins if I recall, in my case.  Once it's over they come back into the room to remove the rods.  It was painless & as the nurses & doctors were brilliant and put me at ease, I felt no embarrassment whatsoever.  They were very good at preserving my dignity, so discreetly as well.

Hope this helps


Dear Becca,

I am so sorry for your Mums diagnosis, I was diagnosed with stage 2b CC in May 2013 at the age of 37. My treatment was 28 radiotheraphy, 5 chemotheraphy (cisplatin) and 3 bracytheraphy. The treatment is hard but definately doable.

The bracytheraphy I had was highdose which I had at the end of my external radiotheraphy for 3 weeks. I was admitted onto a ward the night before treatment settled in each time and spoke to my oncologist, in the morning about 8am the anethatist came round and asked if I would like a spinal block or GA (I had both and would recommend the spinal as you have break threw pain with thr GA which is hard for them to control) At about 9am I would be taken to theatre, my lovely oncologist inserted the rods into my cervix (I didn't feel a thing) which took about 30 mins. At this point you are not allowed to move at all (apart from your head) as the rods must stay exactly in place, I would then be taken for a CT scan to check rods are in the correct place and then wheeled back onto the ward. By this time it was about 11am and the wait begain, the oncology team have to plain the treatment which takes a long time!! I would be collected and taken to the radiotheraphy suite at about 2pm for the treatment to begin, each time my treatment was between 20 and 28 minutes. the rods are connected to the radiotheraphy machine which is just a box really and all nurses leave the room ( you are given a buzzer and music is played so its not horrible) once finished my oncologist and nurses returned and removed the rods this could be a little painful but gas and air was available if required. I was then taken back to the ward and allowed to go home once I could walk unaided and empty my bladder (you are fitted with a catherter during treatment)

My treatment finished in August and I am so pleased to report I was given the wonderful news of no sign of diease in November 2013, I have since had a 3 month follow up appointment which has also been no sign of diease :)

I wish your Mum the very best and send big cyber hugs to you both, if you need any further information just let me know.



Thank you for replying, I really appreciate any information or advice you can offer, especially having not long ago had a similar situation yourself.  May I add I am extremely happy for you that you have received such good news. Its lovely to hear of someone coming through the other side.

My mam's situation sounds very much like yours,  same radiotherapy fractions and chemo regime so I am assuming that the brachytherapy will be as little pieces of your story is what we have been told but we were never given the full picture yet it does not seem scary in a sense. Can I ask at any point that morning did you go to as mould room if so was this for the applicators that are inserted?

Sorry for the questions I'm just the kind of person that likes to be in the know


Thank you Becca



Hello, thank you for your reply also :)


This helps take the scariness away Im very much a person who needs to know and my mam is very much the one who doesnt necessarily like to know everything but understandibly with this she does. However the professionals although hats off to them for doing an amazing job they might as well speak a different language to my mam as she isnt taking much in but I believe all of your advice etc will be as its  real life happening to real people.


Thanks again Becca xx

Hi Becca, 

They only told me very briefly about the brachytherapy treatment until I was quite close to the end of treatment but I am the kind of person that would rather know all the details and get my head around it. The treatment really is not to be feared, it is not easy at times but I can honesty say 6 months on I have recovered really well with only a few problems.

For me the applicators were inserted in theatre and then taken out in the specialist radiotheraphy room after the radiotheraphy dose had been administered.

 How is your mum coping with the treatment do far? I was lucky enough to recover quickly and returned to work 2 weeks after my last brachytherapy treatment.


Wow you did do well 2 weeks is a quick turn around, the doctors are talking as though she needs a few months off but unsure if that is dependent upon her job she works in a DIY shop.  I'm hoping my mam has a speedy recovery but I'm doubtful at the moment as she is coping well mentally but physically 3 weeks in she is very much feeling the effects. She's nauseous, vomitting and constantly tired which for my mam is the nightmare side effect as she is very much a constant on the go person. But its just something we are going to have to get used too.


We've had the same about discussing the treatment as they keep saying its not happening until  March but March is very much here and Brachytherapy is due to start on 13th and I'm due to start work as a midwife on 10th so I really wanted to know well in advance to be able to help my mam understand.



Hi Becca,

I was just so glad to be back at work but I have an office job within a small team of lovely people. Once treatment had finished I gained strength every day at a much quicker pace than I dared hope far, I was originally planning to return in January but was back mid September.

 I am sorry your Mum is suffering from some of the horrible side effects, she really shouldn't be too hard on herself, I basically did nothing during my treatment particularly at the end of my treatment when I was just so tired. At times it was incredibly frustrating particularly with 2 teenagers and a husband to look after but looking back I think it helped my body heal itself. I am so pleased your Mum is feeling strong mentally, if she can stay strong it will certanly help.

 I wish you well with your new job, I'm sure they will give you more details about the brachytherapy soon, they don't try to keep you in the dark they are just aware the treatment is very intense and therefore try to break it down into smaller more manageable chunks xxxx



Thank you, think my mam will also be glad to be back at work but she is certainly going to have to take things easy for a little while, i can imagine that would have been tough.


Thanks once again for replying I really appreciate the information you have been able to give me.


Becca :) xxx

Hi -- very helpful thanks!