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What is Internal Radiation Therapy?

Internal radiation therapy — also called brachytherapy or seed implantation — is a type of cancer treatment. It delivers a high dose of radiation directly to the tumor and helps spare nearby tissues.

With internal radiation therapy, the oncologist implants or inserts radioactive materials at the site of your cancer. The placement can be temporary or permanent.

The radioactive materials — known as seeds — slowly release radiation over a few months. Within one year, their radiation completely decays. The seeds can remain safely in place for the rest of your life.

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center is a leader in brachytherapy.

What Is High-Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy?

HDR brachytherapy is a form of internal radiotherapy.

Your oncologist temporarily implants a catheter near or into the tumor. He or she then places highly radioactive material inside your body.

We most commonly use HDR brachytherapy with cancers that are easy to reach.

Internal Radiation Therapy for Certain Types of Cancers

Other types of internal radiation therapy are specific to certain types of cancers.

You can read more about these therapies on the pages that explain the cancer type:

Contact Us About Radiation Oncology at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

To learn more about internal radiation therapy or other radiation oncology treatments at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, please call us at 412-647-2811.