Beta Radiotherapy acts by stopping multiplication of rapidly dividing cancer cells that may have been left behind following surgical excision of the lesion. Beta Radiotherapy is more penetrating than Mitomycin C and is able to destroy invasive cancer cells that cannot be reached by these chemotherapy drops alone. The aim of the treatment is to reduce the risk of the remaining lesion invading the eye or the tissues surrounding the eye, without causing significant damage to the eye itself.
Treatment involves application of radiotherapy by means of a flat plate held on the surface of the eye for up to one minute. It is performed after application of local anaesthetic drops and the eyelids are held open with a small speculum. The whole process takes less than ten minutes. There is very little in the way of discomfort either during or after the treatment. The procedure is then repeated on consecutive days for a total of three or four days.
Long term side effects of the radiotherapy are rare and usually involve localised redness of the surface of the eye over the area that was treated. The radiotherapy penetrates very poorly into the eye so that the risk of cataract or damage to the retina or structures surrounding the eye is extremely small. There is no risk of radiation damage to other parts of the body.
Unfortunately the radiotherapy cannot guarantee a complete cure of the cancer and you will need to be kept under observation indefinitely. You will need to be seen 3 months following completion of the radiotherapy, then six monthly for two years, then on a yearly basis, to monitor for the small risk of continued growth or recurrence of this lesion.
The risk of this cancer spreading to other parts of the body is very small indeed, but it is vital that follow-up appointments are made before leaving after each visit. If you cannot make an appointment or miss a scheduled appointment, then it is important that you ring the rooms to make a new appointment. elow for further information regarding treatment of diffuse dysplasia with these drops.