Imaging therapy improves outcomes in cervical cancer patients

Brachytherapy is a form of internal radiation that’s been around for years.

MIAMI – Imaging therapy is making a difference in patient outcomes for women with cervical cancer.

Dr. Jessika Contreras, a specialist at the Miami Cancer Institute with Baptist Health South Florida, said women who received image-guided brachytherapy as part of their treatment are more likely to be cured than those who undergo traditional radiation therapy alone.

Brachytherapy is a form of internal radiation that’s been around for years.

“What it is, is the use of a radioactive source directly on the tumor area we want to treat, versus external beam radiation where we’re using high energy photons or x-rays that come from the outside in. With brachytherapy we’re actually placing the radioactive source in the area that we treat, so that allows us to give a high dose of radiation in the area we’re targeting but it can also protect the surrounding areas at risk and decrease the side effects our patients experience,” she said.

Contreras said it’s important for women with cervical cancer to understand that their treatment could be very different from someone with the same diagnosis.

Research has led to better understanding of the biological difference in the disease.

And if you’re in search of a good night’s sleep, be aware that even a tiny amount of light can impact your health.

A study from Northwestern University in Chicago found that light exposure during sleep is linked to a higher risk of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure in older adults.

An earlier study by the same researchers found the effects are also evident in younger people.

The study authors said if people use a nightlight for safety, it should be kept as close to the ground as possible to minimize light entry into the eyes and use dim light if you need to get up in the middle of the night.

About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.