Brachytherapy in Thailand

What is brachytherapy

Brachytherapy is a procedure of placing radioactive material inside the body of the patient to treat any sort of cancer. This process is often called internal radiation. Brachytherapy enables doctors to convey higher portions of radiation to progressively explicit regions of the body, contrasted and the regular type of radiation treatment (outer shaft radiation) that ventures radiation from a machine outside of your body. 

Brachytherapy may cause fewer reactions than does outer pillar radiation, and the general treatment time is typically shorter with brachytherapy.

Brachytherapy is used to treat several types of cancer, including:

  • Bile duct cancer

  • Brain cancer

  • Breast cancer

  • Cervical cancer

  • Endometrial cancer

  • Esophageal cancer

  • Eye cancer

  • Head and neck cancers

  • Lung cancer

  • Pancreatic cancer

  • Prostate cancer

  • Rectal cancer

  • Skin cancer

  • Soft tissue cancers

  • Vaginal cancer

Symptoms of Brachytherapy

A portion of the symptoms of brachytherapy is like those seen with outside pillar radiation treatment, in spite of the fact that they are typically less extreme. 

Instances of intense or prompt symptoms include: 

  • Nearby swelling

  • Nearby wounding 

  • Release in instances of vaginal or womb cancer. 

  • Semen might be stained and, in uncommon cases, may contain ousted pellets. Patients are in this manner encouraged to utilize contraception during sex. 

  • Bleeding

  • Pain and discomfort at the site of the implant

  • The general sentiment of weariness 

Brachytherapy utilized for uterine, cervical, vaginal or prostate disease can prompt momentary urinary manifestations including urinary maintenance, torment on pee, incontinence, and failure to pee. Brachytherapy for these tumors can likewise prompt looseness of the bowels, stoppage and some rectal dying.

Factors affecting the cost of Brachytherapy

There can be varied factors that affect the costing of the procedure and many time external circumstances play an important role. The exact factors are:

  • State of the art technology

  • Brachytherapy isotope used

  • Individual spending capacity

  • Hospital allowances 

Treatment and Cost

25

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

5 Day in Hospital

20 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 4500

Hospitals

About the Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy. It is also known as internal radiation therapy. Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment in which ionizing radiation is used to destroy cancer cells and shrink the size of the tumors. The conventional form of radiation therapy is external beam radiation that projects radiation from a machine outside of the body. In case of internal radiation or brachytherapy, radioactive particles or sources that are internally placed in or next to the tumour site, are used to destroy cancer cells. Brachytherapy helps deliver a high radiation dose to the tumor, with minimal exposure to the surrounding healthy tissues.It thus allows delivering high doses of radiation to more-specific areas of the body.

Brachytherapy can be used for effective treatment of cervical, prostate, breast, skin, lung, head and neck, and gum cancer, in addition to tumors located in other parts of the body. Brachytherapy for prostate cancer is a commonly performed procedure. It is also used for the treatment of gum cancer as well. Brachytherapy is an alternative treatment for gum cancer and is conducted who are unfit to undergo a surgery or do not need one.

Brachytherapy can be completed in less time than other conventional radiotherapy techniques. Brachytherapy for prostate cancer and other cancers is often performed on an outpatient basis and patients typically have to take fewer brachytherapy sessions, as compared to external radiotherapy treatment for cancer. This makes brachytherapy more accessible and convenient to many patients. Most of the patients are able to tolerate brachytherapy very well with fewer side effects.

Types of Brachytherapy

There are two types of brachytherapy treatment:

  • Temporary brachytherapy:

    In this method, highly radioactive particles are placed in a catheter or slender tube for a specific amount of time and then withdrawn. Temporary brachytherapy can be administered at either low-dose rate (LDR) or high-dose-rate (HDR).

  • Permanent brachytherapy:

    In this method, a radioactive seed or pellet is implanted in or near the tumor and left there permanently. After a period of several months, the radioactivity level of the implanted seed eventually diminishes to nothing.

How is Brachytherapy performed?

Brachytherapy treatment plan is created and governed by a radiation oncologist, who is a highly trained physician specializing in treating cancer with radiotherapy. The radiation oncologist will require a team, including a medical physicist, dosimetrist, radiation therapist, radiation therapy nurse and in some cases, a surgeon to conduct the procedure. However, the radiation oncologist is the one who evaluates the patient and determines the appropriate therapy, including how much radiation to deliver.

In permanent brachytherapy, needles that are pre-filled with the radioactive brachytherapy seeds are inserted into the tumor. Then the needle or device is removed, leaving the radioactive seeds behind. Sometimes these seeds may be implanted in sessions using a device that inserts them individually at regular intervals. An appropriate imaging means such as an ultrasound, X-ray, MRI or CT scan may be used to assist the physician in positioning brachytherapy seeds at the right place. After implantation, some additional imaging can be done to verify seed placement.

Temporary brachytherapy starts with placing a delivery device, such as a catheter, needle, or applicator, into the tumor. Methods of imaging such as an ultrasound, MRI, or CT scan will help position the radiation sources correctly. The delivery device can either be inserted into a body cavity such as vagina (intracavitary brachytherapy) or applicators such as needles or catheters can be inserted into body tissues (interstitial brachytherapy). Device implantation will depend on the location of cancer.

Radiation using brachytherapy procedure can be delivered at three different levels:

  • High-dose-rate (HDR):

    HDR brachytherapy is given for over 10 to 20 minutes per session, but it can take several hours worth of preparation, which includes device placement. HDR brachytherapy is mostly conducted as an outpatient procedure, although sometimes patients are admitted for one to two days to have several HDR brachytherapy sessions using the same applicator.

    HDR brachytherapy delivers a specified dose of radiation to the tumor in a short burst using a remote-afterloading machine. This will help protect the patient from unnecessary exposure to radiation. This procedure can be repeated a couple of times on the same day.
  • Low-dose rate (LDR):

    LDR is delivered at a continuous rate of radiation for over 20 to 50 minutes. The patient needs overnight hospitalization so the delivery device can remain in place throughout the treatment. The radiation oncologist may insert the radioactive particle manually through the delivery device and remove the material and delivery device after the treatment.

  • Pulsed dose-rate (PDR):

    PDR brachytherapy is delivered in a similar way of LDR, but the treatment takes place in periodic pulses instead of continuous radiation. 

Recovery from Brachytherapy

For patients who have received brachytherapy for prostate cancer or any other types of cancer, limiting physical activity for at least three to five days is important. You can experience some level of grogginess after the procedure, however, it will last for only a few hours. You will be prescribed a few emergency medicines that you can take in case 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 location of the tumor being treated and the type of brachytherapy being used.

Some acute side effects of brachytherapy are

  • Localized bruising,
  • Bleeding, swelling,
  • Fatigue and discomfort within the implanted region.

But these are temporary side effects and usually resolve within a few days following completion of treatment.

Usually, brachytherapy does not cause any long-term side effects, but in a few cases, it may cause urinary and digestive problems. But in that case as well, long-term side effects are usually mild or moderate in nature and there are many palliative medicines that are available to cope with the symptoms.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the health care infrastructure of Thailand / Why should opt for Thailand as a destination for your medical treatment
Hospitals in Thailand have seen an increase in number in the past few years. One of the many reasons for such surprise growth in the healthcare division can be the development of the public health sector which comprises 9,765 health locations along with 1,002 hospitals. As the Public Hospitals in Thailand are operated by the MOPH (Ministry of Public Health), the Private Hospitals in Thailand are regulated under the Medical Registration Division. The treatments in Thailand are also keeping up with that of other major countries all across the globe. As of 2002, the Thai Government has provided a countrywide general healthcare system that covers 99.5% of the Thai population and ensures high-quality treatments in Thailand and affordable primary medical amenities to each and every citizen of Thailand. In the year 2009, the total national expenditure on healthcare was 4.3% of the GDP of Thailand. Due to such medical advancements in Thailand, the country has become the most preferred medical destination in the world providing wide-ranging medical treatments at highly-reasonable rates at good hospitals in Thailand.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in Thailand? Are they JCI certified? What is the quality of the support staff in the hospitals?
The Joint Commission International (JCI) is a global leader in health care accreditation. JCI accreditation is considered a gold standard in worldwide health care. It provides the most skilled and experienced healthcare professionals in the medical industry, as evaluators of the rigorous international standards in healthcare quality and patient safety. Here are a few JCI certified hospitals in Thailand :
  • Yanhee Hospital
  • Bumrungrad Hospital
  • Bangkok Hospital
  • Chaophya Hospital
  • BNH Hospital
  • Ramkhamhaeng Hospital
  • Vejthani Hospital
  • Bangkok Hospital Phuket
  • Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital
  • Praram 9 Hospital
  • Chiangmai Ram Hospital
  • Sikarin Hospital
  • Synphaet Hospital
  • Bangkok Hospital Samui
  • Nonthavej Hospital
  • Bangkok Hospital Pattaya
  • Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital
  • Samitivej Sriracha Hospital
Are the doctors/surgeons in Thailand of the best quality?
Thailand is gaining recognition for the quality of its healthcare services after the US magazine CEOWORLD placed Thailand 6th in its 2019 list of countries with the best healthcare systems. Thai doctors gain a lot of skills during their course and this helps them practice effectively. Many doctors and surgeons also visit other countries for training and certification courses to enhance their skills and knowledge. Most doctors are exposed to a public and private healthcare system in order to be able to work in any condition. It is a collective effort from all the professionals to maintain the standard of health and Thailand is doing just that.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in Thailand?
Currently, medical tourists To Thailand are allowed in from 34 countries. All visitors must have proof of travel health insurance that covers a minimum of US$100,000 of medical costs incurred in Thailand, including medical costs in the event that they contract COVID-19. Under the CCSA regulations, medical tourists have to arrive by air to ensure effective disease control, not via land border checkpoints. All must have an appointment letter from a doctor in Thailand and entry certificates issued by Thai embassies across the globe. People wanting to visit Thailand for medical procedures need to contact the Thai Embassy in their country to organize the visa and paperwork. Thailand’s major hospitals will provide potential candidates with an appointment letter. Permission for medical tourists to be accompanied by up to three attending persons is intended to allow such patients to have spouses, parents, or assistants in attendance during their treatment in Thailand. However, such persons will have to conform to all the same entry requirements as the medical tourists themselves, including visas and health status.
What support services does MediGence provide in Thailand?
MediGence enables you to plan and manage your medical decisions better. These are some of our services offered:
  • Expert Opinion
    We help you seek an Expert Opinion on your diagnosis and treatment from an experienced team of doctors at MediGence and specialists from a reputable hospital.
  • Hospital Recommendation
    We recommend a hospital or a healthcare institution that is best suited for you, based on your ailment and its criticality.
  • 360-degree Hospital Review
    We give you a transparent and holistic view of the hospital and its infrastructure, accreditation, facilities, and expertise to give you confidence.
  • Doctor Validation and Communication
    We share a comprehensive profile of the treating doctor and also arrange a call to clear queries regarding treatment if needed.
  • Options to Choose From
    Based on your choice of destination and other preferences, we provide you multiple options with respect to hospitals and doctors to choose from.
  • 24X7 Patient Care Support
    A dedicated patient case manager stays in constant touch with you to help you at every step of the decision-making process and resolve queries that you may have.
  • Transparent Treatment Cost and Other Expenses
    We give a clear and accurate indication of the total cost of treatment including treatment, stay, meals, and other expenses.
  • Visa Assistance
    We provide and help prepare documentation for visa approval and coordinate with the embassy to expedite the visa process.
  • Accommodation Arrangements
    We propose to you a choice of accommodation based on your preference such as long stay, short stay, or luxury properties.
Which are the best cities in Thailand for medical treatment?
Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and the most sought - after destination for healthcare. It has more than 10 of the major hospitals in Thailand. The cost of treatment in Thailand is reasonable here. People tend to spend their recovery time in Bangkok as well as it is a beautiful city to visit as a tourist.

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