Last update June 10, 2018

Internal radiotherapy

Limited compatibility

Unsafe. Moderate/severe adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Use safer alternative or discontinue breastfeeding from 5 to 7 T ½ . Read Commentary.

Radiation therapy, alone or in combination with chemotherapy and surgery, is used in the treatment of cancer.
It consists of irradiating in order to destroy cancer cells with high-energy x-rays or proton beams (ASCO 2016).
It can be external or via external beam, when it is administered from a device which is external to the body, or internal or brachytherapy, when radioactive material is introduced into the body, into the tumor or surrounding tissue.

This entry refers to INTERNAL RADIOTHERAPY or brachytherapy. Here, the radiation is inside the body; the patient emits radiation from the device inserted or administered internally (ASCO 2016), so it should not be in close contact (less than 2 metres) or have contact for more than 5 minutes with children or pregnant women for 2 months after the implantation if it is a permanent implant or from a few minutes to a few days (consult the radiotherapist) in the case of temporary internal radiotherapy (ASCO 2016).

These measures result in the the direct postponement of breastfeeding (it may be feasible via expressing and administration by another person) or prevent it if the necessary interruption time is excessive.

If the mother decides to continue breastfeeding after an interruption, during the interruption milk must be expressed (to maintain production). This milk, which is not radioactive, can be administered to the infant by someone other than the mother and/or frozen if left over.


Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Internal radiotherapy is also known as

Internal radiotherapy in other languages or writings:


Internal radiotherapy belongs to this group or family:


  1. Understanding Radiation Therapy. Fact Sheet. 2016 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. Qué es la radioterapia. Hoja informativa. 2016 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)

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