Brachytherapy uses radioactive implants such as seeds, pellets, wires or plates that are put near or inside the tumour. The radioactivity only affects tissue that is very close to the implant. This means the tumour is treated, but healthy areas around it get much less radiotherapy. Areas of the body that are further away are not affected at all.
The implants are left in place to give the correct dose of treatment. Depending on the type of brachytherapy, this may take a few minutes or a few days. Some types of implants are designed to be left in the body permanently.
Your team will explain your treatment plan. This may also involve external beam radiotherapy or other treatments such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy or targeted therapy. Brachytherapy is mainly used to treat cancers in the prostate, cervix and womb. It is sometimes used to treat other cancers, such as cancer of the vagina, vulva, oesophagus (gullet), lung and rectum.