Tandem & Ovoid Therapy

The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: January 26, 2012


Can you explain the procedure for high dose radiation for cervical cancer? From what I understand, it seems like it will be painful. Will I have any kind of anesthesia?


Michael Corradetti, MD, PhD, Radiation Oncology Resident at Penn Medicine, responds:

You are referring to tandem and ovoid brachytherapy for cervical cancer. This involves the insertion of radiation sources into the uterus and the area around the cervix. The procedure is performed at our institution with a patient-controlled analgesic device (PCA device), which allows for the patient to safely self-administer pain medication at the press of a button without a concern for overdose. Most patients endorse minimal pain, and mild/moderate discomfort. General anesthesia is only rarely necessary.

Learn more about tandem and ovoid therapy (vaginal brachytherapy) on OncoLink.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire Focus on Gynecologic Cancers transcript.