This process uses a catheter placed inside the body, directly into the tumor or near it. Radiation oncologists can put radioactive material in the catheter, which delivers a high dose of radiation directly to the tumor. This helps to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Higher doses of radiation are given to treat a smaller area in less time than other types of treatments. This helps minimize damage to nearby tissues. This type of therapy is commonly used with cancers that are easy to reach. After treatments are completed, the catheter is removed.
This is another type of internal beam radiation therapy. Radioactive seeds (about the size of a grain of rice) are placed in or near the tumor. The seeds remain radioactive for some time, delivering continuous radiation, usually for several weeks to months. Eventually, they will lose their radioactivity and stay in the body after treatments.
These types of radiation are considered local therapy because the radiation is from a solid source, meaning that it only treats cancer in the area near the radiation source.
Another type of internal radiation therapy treats using radiation from a liquid source. It is administered in pill form, intravenously, or by injection. The radiation travels through the bloodstream, seeking out cancerous cells in the body’s tissues. This is used to treat different types of cancer and is often used to control pain from cancer that has spread to the bones.