At Winthrop, qualified patients diagnosed with gynecological cancers are benefiting from quicker treatment without hospitalization when they undergo High-Dose Radiation (HDR) brachytherapy, a specialized type of powerful internal radiation.
Diagnosed with endometrial cancer in July of 2004, Deanna Lavelle had chemotherapy and five weeks of external radiation before undergoing HDR.
"Of all three treatments, HDR was the easiest on my system," she explained. "There were no immediate side effects unlike my response to chemotherapy and external radiation. And during the procedure, I really wasn't uncomfortable--there was no pain. I was so happy that I didn't have to go into or stay at the hospital."
According to Jonathan Haas, MD, an attending Winthrop radiation oncologist, patients first typically undergo five weeks of external radiation of the pelvis before HDR is considered.
"However, as each patient's needs diff difff patient's needs dife pelvis before HDR is considered. "However, as each patient's needs differ, there are some patients who may only receive HDR," he explained. "The major advantage to this procedure is that patients can have this done on an outpatient basis as opposed to being admitted for several days."
HDR is provided by Winthrop's radiation oncologists in the comfort of Winthrop's Radiation Oncology facility, an advanced radiation treatment center.
During the procedure, which is given once a week for three weeks, a wire--connected to a vaginal cylinder through a transfer tube--is placed either directly into or close to the cancerous site, which is radiated for a period of five-to-15 minutes.
"HDR is really preventative treatment to reduce the risk of reoccurrence," explained Eva Chalas, MD, Winthrop's Chief of Gynecologic Oncology. "The major alle, who notes she felt better just one week after the treatments ended. "I really trusted them and was impressed with how they treated me. I could tell that they had my best interests in mind."
For more information, call 1-866-WINTHROP or visit www.winthrop.org.