The mode of treatment used, whether it be radiotherapy, surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or any combination of these four kinds of treatment will depend on a joint decision reached by all the specialists involved in your treatment and you.

Cancer surgery

Surgery is used to remove the primary tumour. Removing a portion of an organ is the preferred treatment if a small tumour mass is located in one part of the body and there are no distant metastases.

Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy is a type of internal radiotherapy in which a radioactive substance is introduced inside a cavity or directly into the malignant tumour. Implants may be permanent or temporary.

In the majority of cases, the radioactive source is inserted only for the duration of the treatment.
Most temporary implants use a high level radiation source. This means that the treatment is administered for a few minutes. When a temporary implant is used, there is no risk of spreading radiation to those around you after the source is removed.

Temporary implants will occasionally use a low level radioactive source. The treatment will last several hours and you will be hospitalized for the duration of the treatment in an isolated room in order to control exposure to radiation.

For patients receiving a permanent implant or an injection of a radioactive substance, there are precautions to be observed to reduce the risk of radiation to those around you and ensure the safety of others when you return home. Specific information will be provided upon your departure from the hospital.

For more information, call the Info-Cancer Line (1 800 363-0063).

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