South African guidelines for cervical brachytherapy

  • Jeffrey Kotzen University of the Witwatersrand


Comment on “Brachytherapy for cervical cancer: Guidelines to facilitate patient-centred care in a multidisciplinary environment” (Deirdre Long, Hester Sophia Friedrich-Nel, and Georgina Joubert) Brachytherapy is an essential component of the curative radiation treatment for cervical cancer. No additional treatment, including sophisticated EBRT techniques, such as IMRT and SBRT, can make up for the survival decrement from lack of brachytherapy as a component of definitive care. Overall survival was superior in patients who received brachytherapy (HR 0.554).1 The procedure is invasive and uncomfortable at best. Intracavitary brachytherapy is associated with anxiety. Women need to be given detailed information before the brachytherapy application to reduce anxiety.2 Sexual malfunction from ovarian failure and vaginal stenosis is common following treatment of cervical cancer, and sufficient counselling to enable the patients to manage sexual dysfunction is often neglected.

Author Biography

Jeffrey Kotzen, University of the Witwatersrand
Department of Radiation Oncology Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital and University of the Witwatersrand
Guest Editorial