Freeman Health System is the first and only local hospital to offer high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy, a form of radiation therapy. HDR brachytherapy enables doctors to deliver higher doses of radiation to specific areas of the entire body by placing radioactive sources inside the tumor cavity.
During HDR brachytherapy, a high intensity radiation source is delivered through a catheter to the tumor site with millimeter precision through computer guidance. Since radiation is delivered directly to the cancer site, HDR brachytherapy treatment reduces the risk of damage to surrounding healthy tissue and organs.
“Our community will not only have the convenience of having this state-of-the-art treatment in their own backyard, but our patients will have added benefits such as shorter treatment duration for certain cancer types,” said Paula F. Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer. “That translates to less time in the clinic – minimizing disruptions to patients and helping them return to everyday life faster.”
Treatment is delivered either once or twice per day for approximately one week. The radiation source is completely removed after each treatment. No radiation remains inside the body between treatments.
“HDR brachytherapy is an excellent alternative for patients who are favorable candidates,” said Dr. Chance Matthiesen, Freeman Medical Director of Radiation Oncology. “The key to excellent outcomes is careful patient selection and a strong multi-disciplinary approach to each patient. With our comprehensive cancer program, we are able to achieve great things here at Freeman.”
Depending on tumor location, HDR brachytherapy treatments are minimally invasive and are performed as outpatient procedures. There are fewer side effects, such as burning or irritation to the skin.
About Freeman Health System
Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. In 2017, Freeman earned dozens of individual awards for medical excellence and patient safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers. The Leapfrog Group awarded Freeman the highest grade possible in the Fall 2017 Hospital Patient Safety Score. With more than 300 physicians on staff representing more than 70 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit freemanhealth.com.