Brachytherapy, also known as internal radiotherapy is a kind of radiotherapy treatment. During the brachytherapy,
Turkey is a treasure trove of traditions, spices, street food delights and destinations for any intrepid tourist. It’s a mix between the familiar and the exotic, ranging from the bustling streets of Istanbul to the serene and relaxed Roman ruins spread around Turkey’s Western and Southern coast. Turkey is a fairly large country with 75 million inhabitants. The country spreads between Europe and Asia, with 97% of the country on the Asian side – Asian Turkey. Turkey is encircled and enjoys access to three different seas: The Black Sea, The Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean. Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and the largest city in Europe, regarding population – It has over 14 million people.
Turkey’s medical infrastructure has improved greatly beginning with the early 2000s and now is one of the biggest medical tourism hubs in Europe and Asia. Turkey has the largest number of JCI-accredited hospitals, second only to the USA and hospitals are more often than not part of international healthcare groups, following strict European protocols and regulations. Turkey has 28.000 medical institutions spread across the European and Asian side but some of the biggest private hospitals and medical centres are in Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya and Bodrum – these also happen to be some of the best tourist destinations in Turkey.
Bodrum is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Turkey, with its sandy beaches and small streets littered with traditional shops and elegant restaurants. The town used to be called Halicarnassus, and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus is one of the World’s Seven Ancient Wonders. Bodrum also features a castle built by the crusaders in the 15th century.
Istanbul is the home of several architectural treasures, including the Blue Mosque. The Blue Mosque was built on the orders of Sultan Ahmed between 1609 and 1616 and the Sultan’s body still resides within the mosque. The high ceiling is lined with more than 20000 handmade ceramic tiles, hence the name – The Blue Mosque.
Pamukkale, meaning “The Cotton Castle” in Turkish is a surreal destination in the country’s western region of Denizli, world renowned for its white terraces with warm spring water. The ancient Greek city of Hierapolis was built over the springs and Pamukkale was a renowned destination in antiquity as well. Tourists can visit the ancient Roman and Greek ruins of the baths, temples and theatres dating to the second century BC.
● If you don’t feel like waiting in a queue, you can get a VISA for Turkey online. The VISA usually costs around $20 for US travellers.
● Turkey’s population is predominantly Islamic so it’s a good idea to wear a headscarf while visiting mosques. Shorts or any other garments that fit under the knee are not prohibited by law but it’s considered good etiquette not to wear shorts for men or short skirts for women.
● You can change any sort of currency into the Turkish Lira – the Turkish currency just about everywhere. Most supermarkets and shops also accept credit cards.
● Roaming fees in Turkey can be somewhat expensive, so it’s a good idea to simply buy a new Turkish SIM card and use it while staying in Turkey.
● Turkey’s international calling code is +90.
● Electrical installations usually operate on 220 volts, 50 Hz and use European style plugs and European style sockets. Four and Five star hotels usually provide North American - 120 volts, 60 Hz sockets as well.
● Driving in Turkey can be a hassle sometimes, but very pleasurable at other times. Roads are usually in good shape and some roads actually lack traffic, so it can be a relaxing experience. In Turkey, people drive on the right, so that’s a detail you will need to keep in mind. In some areas, villagers made cardboard and marker pen signs in order to help lost tourist on their way.
● Renting a car in Turkey is quite simple and cheap. If you have the budget for a full insurance, you should definitely take it – if anything happens, at least you won’t have to worry about money.
● The Turkish Airlines Company, THY offers destinations to just about anywhere in the world with a total of 261 destinations. The company was founded in 1933 and features 285 passenger and cargo planes.
● Turkey uses the metric system which is easy enough to understand – 1 Km = 1000 meters, 1 Kg = 1000 grams, and so on. One mile equals 1.60 Km.
● Turkish people are warm and very hospitable - It is customary for people to hug and kiss both cheeks regardless of their gender.
● Turkish street food is very diverse, from the simple bagel-type snack Simit to the familiar pizza-type Lahmacun, there are tons of variants to just about anything.
● Turkish coffee is world renowned, but it’s also a bit different than say, its American counterpart - It is usually a strong coffee with a rich aroma, served very hot from a small traditional cup. Be careful not to drink any of the coffee grounds still in the cup.
● Turkish delight, as the name suggests, can be a really sweet delight for tourists. It is made from sugar, starch and just about any fruit or aroma imaginable, including walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, dates, lemon, orange, rosewater and many others. Turkish delight is usually served with coffee and it became popular all around the world, including in the Balkans region and as far as Brazil and North America.
Brachytherapy, also known as internal radiotherapy is a kind of radiotherapy treatment. During the brachytherapy, a minor source of radiation is sited inside the patient’s body close to the area where treatment is needed.
Brachytherapy has different kinds of benefits for different kinds of medical conditions.Some of the most performed brachytherapy types are:
● Brachytherapy for cervical cancer
● Brachytherapy for breast cancer
● Brachytherapy for prostate cancer
● Brachytherapy for uterine cancer
● Brachytherapy for skin cancer
Brachytherapy can be the only treatment in one's treatment plan, or it can be performed with other kinds of treatment techniques such as chemotherapy, external radiotherapy, or cancer surgery.
Brachytherapy has several benefits which lack in other kinds of radiotherapy or cancer treatments. By performing the brachytherapy practice, doctors can treat only the area which is affected by cancer. Since the brachytherapy technique has fewer side effects than external radiotherapy, there is a shorter time between each radiation dose, which eventually leads to less time for surviving cancer cells to grow. Additionally, brachytherapy has benefits for many different types of cancer, and its success rate is comparable to cancer surgery or external radiotherapy.
For patients who are suffering from listed diseases, brachytherapy is recommended:
● Eye cancer
● Brain cancer
● Breast cancer
● Bile duct cancer
● Cervical cancer
● Endometrial cancer
● Head and neck cancer
● Lung cancer
● Esophageal cancer
● Pancreatic cancer
● Prostate cancer
● Skin cancer
● Rectal cancer
● Vaginal cancer
Brachytherapy procedure can be performed only, or it can be combined with other treatment techniques such as cancer surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy.
For brachytherapy procedure, there might be some contraindications regarding the patient’s age, weight, and lifestyle. However, it is strongly depended on the brachytherapy’s purpose and the area affected by cancer.
Before the brachytherapy, it is necessitated to visit a doctor and a radiation oncologist to get exanimated. After that, oncologists prepare a treatment plan which suits the patient best. Also, before starting the brachytherapy procedure, it might be required for the patient to have X-rays or CTs.
Depending on the type of cancer and the purpose of the treatment, brachytherapy can be performed in different ways. In general, firstly general or local anesthesia is administered to the patient.
Brachytherapy can be performed in several different ways, which involve:
● It can be placed in a body cavity – the implant containing radioactive material can be placed in the windpipe
● It can be inserted into tissue – In this technique, an incision is made in the area in which treatment is aimed, in order to insert the implant into the incision. This method is mostly performed for patients who are suffering from prostate cancer or breast cancer.
There are three different types of brachytherapy, depending on the amount of the treatment length and dose of radiation administered:
● High dose rate brachytherapy
In this method, the radioactive implant is inserted into the patient’s body for a very limited period, which is regularly around 15-20 minutes. Generally, patients experience this procedure a few times every day for up to a week.
● Low dose rate brachytherapy
During this practice, patients need to stay in the hospital.A low dose of radiation is continuously released for a longer period – it ranges from a few hours to a few days.
● Permanent brachytherapy
This technique is mostly performed for patients who are suffering from prostate cancer.In this procedure, the radioactive implant might be inserted into the patient’s body permanently.
Local or General anesthetic
During the recovery period of brachytherapy, depending on the performed technique and the affected area, some patients may experience pain and swelling. Also, as a result of general anesthesia use patients may experience nausea and vomiting as well.
Risks and complications associated with brachytherapy depend on the treated area.
Brachytherapy may cause several side effects that involve tenderness, pain, soreness, nausea, and vomiting.
Brachytherapy success rates differ depending on the area, which is affected by cancer and its spread. For the patients who are suffering from prostate cancer, success rates differ between 71 to 95%, 5 years after the procedure.
For the patients who are having permanent brachytherapy, it is recommended to limit their time spent with children and pregnant women since they emit a low dose of radiation from the treatment area.
– Brachytherapy vs. external beam radiation – What is the difference?
During the brachytherapy, a certain limited area is affected by the implant, which can be managed by the doctor.However, the external beam radiation passes through the patient’s body in which sometimes affects the healthy body parts.
– Is permanent brachytherapy painful?
Not at all - you won’t feel the implant after the incision heals. The implant itself is very small.
– For how long does a permanent brachytherapy implant release radiation?
Depending on cancer’s
This content is written and reviewed by our medical content team in August, 2019.