Introduction/Background Vaginal brachytherapy is frequently used in patients with endometrial cancer. Its role in prevention of local recurrence is substantial. Safe and effective use of vaginal brachytherapy requires dedicated personnel with specific training, skills, techniques, and patient education. Success of the treatment is a combination of professionalism including a positive experience for the patient leading to close cooperation and a smooth process. To ensure a less traumatic procedure, we developed a special approach to this category of patients giving special attention to the patients’ education.
Methodology Since 2018 when the brachytherapy service was established, we have developed a special and comprehensive approach tailored for every patient. During the first visit, each patient meets the following personnel: doctor, nurse, and brachytherapy coordinator. Each patient receives a detailed verbal, visual and written information regarding the whole process and a short guided ‘tour’ in the brachytherapy unit. We provide a supportive group facilitated by a social worker, sexologist and a psychologist. The brachytherapy treatment itself take place at the brachytherapy unit, separated from the rest of the department giving our patients a feeling of safety and intimacy. The device we use for the treatment is heated at body temperature and during insertion, a special technique ensures painless tightening and stability in the body.
Results Since the location of the device in the body has an influence on the radiation dose on the adjacent organs, the patient’s position results in a reduction of dose to the rectum and bladder and decreases the rate of acute and late toxicity.
Conclusion Cooperation of our patients and techniques provide successful treatment planning and delivery while reducing radiotherapy dose to the organs at risk. This approach significantly reduces the level of anxiety, helps patients trust and cooperate with staff, complete treatment without interruptions and an overall better outcome.
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