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About Brachytherapy in Türkiye
In Türkiye, brachytherapy has been widely used by professional teams in various cancer treatments for many years. Brachytherapy is a form of radiation therapy where a sealed radiation source is arranged inside or next to the area that needs treatment. Brachytherapy is often applied as an effective treatment for cervical cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, esophageal cancer, and skin cancer.
In addition, it might also be applied to treat tumors in many other body areas. Treatment results have shown that the cancer-cure rates of brachytherapy are either comparable to surgery and external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) or improved when used in combination with these methods. Brachytherapy can be applied alone or in combination with other therapies such as EBRT, surgery, and chemotherapy.
Brachytherapy contrasts with unsealed source radiotherapy, in which a therapeutic radionuclide (radioisotope) is given an injection into the body to chemically localize to the tissue requiring destruction. It also contrasts with External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT), in which high-energy x-rays are aimed at the tumour from outside the body. Brachytherapy instead includes the precise placement of short-range radiation sources directly at the site of the cancerous tumor.
These are enclosed in a protective capsule or wire, which allows the ionizing radiation to escape to treat and destroy surrounding tissue but prevents the charge of the radioisotope from moving or dissolving in body fluids. The capsule might be removed later, or (with some radioisotopes) it might be provided to remain in place.
A specific feature of brachytherapy is that irradiation affects only a very localized site around the radiation sources. Radiation exposure of healthy tissues farther away from the sources is hence reduced. In addition, if the patient moves or if there is any movement of the tumour within the body during the brachytherapy procedure, the radiation sources keep their correct position in relation to the tumour. These characteristics of brachytherapy deliver advantages over EBRT – the tumour can be treated with very high doses of localized radiation whilst causing less probability of unnecessary damage to surrounding healthy tissues.
Brachytherapy Procedure in Türkiye
Brachytherapy in Türkiye is an improved form of radiation therapy with the latest technology. It is also known as internal radiation therapy for cancer treatment in Turkiye. Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment in which ionizing radiation is applied to destroy cancer cells and shrink the size of tumors. The conventional form of radiation therapy is external beam radiation, which projects radiation from a device outside of the body.
In the condition of internal radiation or brachytherapy, radioactive particles or sources that are internally placed in or next to the tumour area are applied to destroy cancer cells. Brachytherapy helps deliver a high radiation dose to the tumor with low exposure to the surrounding healthy tissues. Therefore, it allows delivering high doses of radiation to more-specific sites of the body.
It is an improved and innovative radiation technique with a dosimetric system that accurately adjusts the dose according to the tumor. The technique is applicable because it uses brachytherapy seed that periodically emits radiation onto the tumor cells. The therapy shows positive outcomes after two to three sessions. After analyzing the results, the physicians successfully terminated the sessions with the patient. For benign tumors they make dose adjustments and keep the session if needed.
Brachytherapy Process in Türkiye
Brachytherapy needs an expert treatment team. Türkiye adequately meets this need with well-trained and highly experienced medical personnel. This team involves a radiation oncologist, dosimetrist, radiation therapist, medical physicist, nurse, and, sometimes, a surgeon. A radiation oncologist is a highly trained expert doctor who specializes in treating cancer with radiotherapy. The oncologist evaluates the patient, describes the treatment, and determines the appropriate therapy with a radiation dose.
In some conditions, a surgeon will aid by placing treatment devices in the patient. The medical physicist, dosimetrist, and oncologist adjust how to deliver the radiation and how much the patient can tolerate. The physicist and the dosimetrist then do detailed treatment calculations. The radiation therapist, a specially trained technologist, might help deliver treatment. The nurse gives information about the treatment and possible side effects. The nurse also assists manage care for treatment catheters.
Prepare for Brachytherapy in Türkiye
Before you start brachytherapy in Türkiye, you might meet with a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with radiation (radiation oncologist). You might also undergo scans to help your expert doctor determine your treatment plan. Procedures such as X-rays, computerized tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) might be performed before brachytherapy.
How Is Brachytherapy Performed in Türkiye?
Most brachytherapy is put in place through a catheter, which is a tiny, stretchy tube. Sometimes, brachytherapy is put in place through a larger piece of equipment called an applicator. The way the brachytherapy in Türkiye is applied depends on your type of cancer. Your expert will place the catheter or applicator into your body before you start treatment.
Methods for placing brachytherapy:
Interstitial brachytherapy, in which the radiation source is placed within the tumour. This technique is applied for prostate cancer, for instance.
Intracavity brachytherapy, in which the radiation source is placed within a body cavity or a cavity created by surgical operation. For example, radiation can be applied in the vagina to treat cervical or endometrial cancer.
Episcleral brachytherapy, in which the radiation source is placed to the eye. This technique is applied to treat melanoma of the eye.
Once the catheter or applicator is in place, the radiation source is put inside it. The radiation source might be kept in place for a few minutes, for many days, or for the rest of your life. How long it remains in place depends on the type of radiation source, your type of cancer, your health, where the cancer is in your body parts, and other cancer treatments you have had.
Types of Brachytherapy in Türkiye
There are several types of brachytherapy applied in Türkiye. What you will experience during brachytherapy will vary depending on your condition and your specific treatment. Radiation might be given in a brief treatment session, as with high-dose-rate brachytherapy, or it might be left in place over a period of time, as with low-dose-rate brachytherapy. Sometimes the radiation source may be placed in your body permanently. All these treatment variables are decided by determining your condition.
High-Dose-Rate Brachytherapy in Türkiye
High-dose-rate brachytherapy is frequently an outpatient procedure, which means each treatment session is brief and doesn’t need that you to be admitted to the hospital. During high-dose-rate brachytherapy, radioactive material is attached to your body for a short period—from a few minutes up to 25 minutes. You might undergo one or two sessions a day over a number of days or weeks.
You will lie in a relaxing position during high-dose-rate brachytherapy. Your expert radiation therapy team will position the radiation machine. This might be a simple tube or tube placed inside a body cavity or small needles inserted into the tumour. The radioactive material is inserted into the brachytherapy equipment with the help of a computerized machine.
Your expert radiation therapy team will leave the room during your brachytherapy procedure session. They will monitor you from a nearby room where they can see and hear you. You shouldn’t feel any pain during the brachytherapy procedure, but if you feel uncomfortable or have any concerns, be sure to tell your expert team. Once the radioactive material is extracted from your body, you won’t give off radiation or be radioactive. You aren’t a risk to other people, and you can go on with your normal activities.
Low-Dose-Rate Brachytherapy in Türkiye
During low-dose-rate brachytherapy, an ongoing low dose of radiation is released over time, from several hours to several days. You will generally need to stay in the hospital while the radiation is in place. Radioactive material is placed in your body by hand or by the device. Brachytherapy devices might be positioned during surgery. Which might require anesthesia or sedation to help you remain still during the procedure and to reduce discomfort.
You will probably stay in a private room in the hospital during low-dose-rate brachytherapy. Because the radioactive material stays inside your body, there is a tiny chance it could harm other people. In these cases, visitors will be restricted.
Children and pregnant women shouldn’t visit you in the hospital during this brachytherapy procedure. Others might visit briefly once a day or so. Your expert healthcare team will still give you the care you need but might restrict the amount of time they spend in your room.
You shouldn’t feel pain during a low-dose-rate brachytherapy procedure. Keeping still and remaining in your hospital room for days might be uncomfortable. If you feel any discomfort, tell your expert healthcare team. After a designated amount of time, the radioactive material is extracted from your body. Once your brachytherapy treatment is complete, you’re free to have visitors without limitation.
Permanent Brachytherapy in Türkiye
In some conditions, such as with prostate cancer brachytherapy procedures, radioactive material is placed in your body permanently. The radioactive material is typically placed by hand with the guidance of an imaging examination such as an ultrasound or CT. You might feel pain during the placement of radioactive material, but you shouldn’t feel any pain once it’s in place.
Your body will emit low doses of radiation from the site being treated at first. Generally, the risk to others is minimal, and you might not need any restrictions about who can be near you. In some conditions, for a short period of time, you might be asked to limit the length and frequency of visits with pregnant women or with children. The amount of radiation in your body will diminish with time, and restrictions will be lifted.
How Long Does the Radiation Last in Brachytherapy?
How long the radiation lasts will depend on the type of brachytherapy performed. Your expert healthcare provider will determine the brachytherapy type based on:
The location of the cancer
The type of cancer
If the brachytherapy implant is a low-dose implant, it might be left in for several days. High-dose implants might be extracted after only a few minutes. Some brachytherapy implants are permanent. If you have one, you might require to stay in the hospital for a few days. The radiation is weaker each day. This means you will probably be discharged after a few days.
There might be certain safety measures to be taken at home. Your expert healthcare team at Healthy Türkiye will give you specific instructions if needed. Your specialist might remove temporary implants after you have had the complete dose of radiation.
During Brachytherapy in Türkiye
Before brachytherapy in Türkiye starts, the expert doctor might place an intravenous (IV) line into your arm or hand to deliver medicine. Depending on the area of the tumor and your expert doctor’s suggestions, you might receive general anesthesia and/or a sedative to make you feel sleepy. If anesthesia or heavy sedation is applied, you will be moved to a recovery room afterward. Depending on the type of brachytherapy, you might come back home the same day or be moved to a hospital room.
Patients who have an after-loaded implant for temporary brachytherapy might hear a clicking or humming noise from the treatment device. This occurs as the machine pushes the radioactive material into the therapy device previously placed in the tumor area. You will be alone during the brachytherapy procedure. However, you will be able to speak with your treatment team via a microphone. Some LDR, PDR, and HDR treatments require one or more days in the hospital and might cause discomfort. This might be due to the catheters or applicators having to stay relatively still for a prolonged period. Your expert doctor will prescribe medicine to relieve your pain.
After permanent brachytherapy, the implanted seeds’ radioactivity decays with time, depending on which radioactive isotope is applied. Ask your expert if you should limit close contact with others, such as pregnant women or children. With temporary implants, the doctor extracts all radioactive material before you return home. There is no risk of exposure after the expert doctor extracts the delivery device and radiation sources.
Your specialist and/or expert therapy team will give you specific home-care instructions. You might have tenderness and swelling at the treatment site or other symptoms. This will depend on your specific therapy. Most patients are able to resume normal activities within days or weeks. However, you might have some long-term side effects. Talk to your expert treatment team about how to manage them.
Your specialist might suggest a series of follow-up exams after brachytherapy. These might involve a physical check-up, imaging test(s), and blood or other lab tests. These visits help your expert doctor see if your condition is stable or has changed. They also allow you to discuss any brachytherapy side effects with your expert doctor.
After Brachytherapy in Türkiye
After brachytherapy has finished, your expert treatment team will tell you how to look after the treatment site and suggest ways to manage side effects. They will also tell you who to call if you have any concerns. Life after brachytherapy can present its own challenges.
You might have mixed feelings when treatment ends. You might worry that every ache and pain means the cancer is coming back. Some people say they feel pressure when returning to “normal life”. It is important to give yourself time to adjust to the physical and emotional changes and establish a new daily routine at your own pace. Your family and friends might also need time to adjust.
Recovery From Brachytherapy in Türkiye
For patients who have received brachytherapy for prostate cancer or any other type of cancer, restricting physical activity for at least three to five days is important. You might experience some level of grogginess after the brachytherapy procedure. However, it will last for only a few hours.
You will be prescribed a few emergency medications that you can take if you experience pain or any other type of discomfort. There are some side effects associated with all kinds of radiation therapy. However, the acute, sub-acute, or long-term side effects of brachytherapy depend on the site of the tumor being treated and the type of brachytherapy being applied.
Some acute side effects of brachytherapy are localized bruising, bleeding, fatigue, swelling, and discomfort within the implanted location. But these are temporary side effects and generally resolve within a few days following the completion of treatment. Generally, brachytherapy does not cause any long-term side effects, but in a few conditions, it might cause urinary and digestive issues. But in that condition, as well, long-term side effects are generally mild or moderate in nature, and there are many palliative drugs that are available to cope with the symptoms.
2023 Cost Of Brachytherapy in Türkiye
All types of medical attention, like brachytherapy, are very affordable in Türkiye. Many factors are also included in determining the cost of brachytherapy in Türkiye. Your process with Healthy Türkiye will last from the time you decide to have brachytherapy in Türkiye until you are fully recovered, even if you are back home. The exact brachytherapy procedure cost in Türkiye depends on the type of operation involved.
The cost of brachytherapy in Türkiye does not demonstrate many variations in 2023. Compared to costs in developed countries like the United States or the UK, brachytherapy costs in Türkiye are relatively low. So, it’s no wonder patients from across the world visit Türkiye for brachytherapy procedures. However, price is not the only factor affecting choices. We suggest looking for hospitals that are safe and have brachytherapy reviews on Google. When people decide to seek medical help for brachytherapy, they will not only have had low-cost procedures in Türkiye, but also the safest and best treatment.
At clinics or hospitals contracted with Healthy Türkiye, patients will receive the best brachytherapy from specialist doctors in Türkiye at affordable rates. Healthy Türkiye teams provide medical attention, brachytherapy procedures, and high-quality treatment to patients at a minimum cost. When you contact Healthy Türkiye assistants, you can get free information about the cost of brachytherapy in Türkiye and what this cost covers.
Why Is Brachytherapy Cheaper in Türkiye?
One of the main considerations before traveling abroad for brachytherapy is the cost-effectiveness of the whole process. Many patients think that when they add flight tickets and hotel expenses to their brachytherapy costs, it will become very expensive to travel, which is not true. Contrary to popular belief, round-trip flight tickets to Türkiye for brachytherapy can be booked very affordably.
In this case, assuming you are staying in Türkiye for your brachytherapy, your total travel expense of flight tickets and accommodation will only cost less than any other developed country, which is nothing compared to the amount that you are saving. The question “Why is brachytherapy cheaper in Türkiye?” is so common among patients or people simply curious about getting their medical treatment in Türkiye. When it comes to brachytherapy prices in Türkiye, there are 3 factors allowing for cheaper prices:
The currency exchange is favorable for anyone looking for brachytherapy who has a euro, dollar, or pound;
The lower cost of living and cheaper overall medical expenses such as brachytherapy;
For brachytherapy, incentives are given by the Turkish Government to medical clinics working with international clients;
All these factors allow for cheaper brachytherapy prices, but let’s be clear, these prices are cheaper for people with strong currencies (as we said, euro, dollar, Canadian dollar, pound, etc).
Every year, thousands of patients from all over the world come to Türkiye to get brachytherapy. The success of the healthcare system has increased in recent years, especially for brachytherapy. It’s easy to find well-educated and English-speaking medical professionals in Türkiye for all kinds of medical treatment, such as brachytherapy.
Why Choose Türkiye for Brachytherapy?
Türkiye is a common choice among international patients seeking advanced brachytherapy. Türkiye’s health procedures are safe and effective operations with a high success rate, like brachytherapy. The increasing demand for high-quality brachytherapy at affordable prices has made Türkiye a popular medical travel destination. In Türkiye, brachytherapy is performed by highly experienced and trained doctors with the most advanced technology in the world. Brachytherapy is done in Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya, and other major cities. The reasons for choosing brachytherapy in Türkiye are as follows:
High-quality hospitals: Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited hospitals have dedicated brachytherapy units that are specially designed for patients. International and national strict protocols provide effective and successful brachytherapy for patients in Türkiye.
Qualified experts: The expert teams include nurses and specialist doctors, together to carry out brachytherapy according to the patient’s needs. All the included doctors are highly experienced in performing brachytherapy.
Affordable price: The cost of brachytherapy in Türkiye is affordable compared to Europe, the USA, the UK, Singapore, Australia, etc.
The high success rate: Highly experienced specialists, the best available technology, and stringently followed safety guidelines for post-operative care of the patient, resulting in a high success rate for brachytherapy in Türkiye.
Is Brachytherapy Safe in Türkiye?
Did you know Türkiye is one of the most popular destinations for brachytherapy in the world? It is ranked as one of the most popular tourist destinations for brachytherapy. Over the years, it has also come to be a very popular medical tourism destination, with many tourists coming in for brachytherapy. There are so many reasons why Türkiye stands out as a leading destination for brachytherapy. Because Türkiye is both safe and easy to travel to, with a regional airport hub and flight connections to pretty much everywhere, it is preferred for brachytherapy.
The best hospitals in Türkiye have experienced medical staff and specialists who have performed thousands of medical services such as brachytherapy. All procedures and coordination related to brachytherapy are controlled by the Ministry of Health in accordance with the law. Over many years, the greatest progress in medicine has been observed in the field of brachytherapy. Türkiye is known among foreign patients for its great opportunities in the area of brachytherapy.
To emphasize, besides the price itself, the key factor in selecting a destination for brachytherapy is certainly the standard of medical services, the hospital staff’s high level of expertise, hospitality, and the safety of the country.
All-Inclusive Packages for Brachytherapy in Türkiye
Healthy Türkiye offers all-inclusive packages for brachytherapy in Türkiye at much lower prices. Extremely professional and experienced doctors and technicians carry out the high quality brachytherapy. The cost of brachytherapy in European countries can be quite expensive, especially in the UK. Healthy Türkiye provides cheap all-inclusive packages for a long and short stay of brachytherapy in Türkiye. Because of many factors, we can provide you with many opportunities for your brachytherapy in Türkiye.
The price of brachytherapy differs from other countries due to medical fees, staff labor prices, exchange rates, and market competition. You can save much more on brachytherapy in Türkiye compared to other countries. When you purchase a brachytherapy all-inclusive package with Healthy Türkiye, our healthcare team will present a list of hotels for you to choose from. In brachytherapy travel, you will have the price of your stay included in the all-inclusive package cost.
In Türkiye, when you purchase brachytherapy all-inclusive packages through Healthy Türkiye, you will always receive VIP transfers. These are provided by Healthy Türkiye, which has contracted with highly qualified hospitals for brachytherapy in Türkiye. The Healthy Türkiye teams will organize everything about brachytherapy for you and have you picked up from the airport and safely brought to your accommodation. Once settled in the hotel, you will be transferred to and from the clinic or hospital for brachytherapy. After your brachytherapy has been successfully completed, the transfer team will return you to the airport in time for your flight home. In Türkiye, all packages of brachytherapy can be arranged upon request, which relaxes the minds of our patients. You can reach out Healthy Türkiye for everything you need to know about brachytherapy in Türkiye.
Frequently Asked Questions
Brachytherapy is a highly effective treatment procedure for certain types of cancer. It’s very effective on cancers that haven’t spread or metastasized. Internal radiation therapy occurs inside the body. Compared to external radiation therapy, brachytherapy aims at just the tumor, sparing nearby healthy tissue and organs. Most side effects disappear as the radiation leaves your body.
In many brachytherapy procedures, an expert doctor who specializes in radiation therapy, called a radiation oncologist, uses a needle or catheter to place the encapsulated radioactive material inside the body directly on or near a tumor. In some cases, the radioactive material is placed in a body cavity, such as the rectum, vagina, or uterus. The patient is sedated for all of these brachytherapy procedures.
Radiation oncologists rely on imaging methods such as CT scans and ultrasound during brachytherapy planning and delivery to ensure that the encapsulated material is placed with precision.
After around 8 to 10 months, almost all the radiation has left. The amount of radiation left in the seeds is so tiny that it doesn’t have an effect on your body. Permanent seed brachytherapy is as good at treating low-risk localized prostate cancer as surgery or external beam radiotherapy.
The radioactive source is extracted from your body after HDR brachytherapy, so you won’t require any special precautions to avoid close contact with other people.
The radiation travels a very short distance, so the effects are mostly on the tumor. However, you might have to limit contact with other people for up to one week after treatment. It is very important to avoid close contact with children and women who are pregnant.
Brachytherapy gets 25-30 minutes or more, depending on the type of therapy you have. Before the procedure, you will be given drugs so that you do not feel any pain.
For most treatment sites, patients should be able to come back home and resume normal activities immediately following treatment. There are no side effects like nausea, hair loss, or diarrhea following this brachytherapy procedure.