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[brachy- + therapy]
In radiation therapy, the use of implants of radioactive materials such as radium, cesium, iridium, or gold at the treatment site, e.g., an internal organ with a malignant lesion. It is classified by dose (low, medium, high, or pulsed); by duration (temporary or permanent); and by placement (contact or interstitial).
SYN: SEE: endocurietherapy; SEE: implant radiation therapy; SEE: internal radiation therapy
The treated patient can emit radiation and can endanger others. If the radiation source is dislodged, it is removed by a radiation safety officer using special long-handled tongs and is placed in a lead container. All linens and dressings are considered contaminated. Pregnant women and children younger than 16 should not visit the patient.
Before treatment, patient care focuses on explanation of the therapy, including a discussion of its planned duration, potential side effects, expected limitations on the patient’s lifestyle, and typical efficacy. After implantation, patient care includes comfort care, radiation protection for staff and visitors, monitoring the patient for any untoward effects, and concluding the therapy, with an explanation of any expected sequella or activity restrictions.