Brachytherapy for Prostate Cancer
Radiation treatment for prostate cancer is often performed by inserting radiation seeds known as brachytherapy, or in a completely non-invasive manner known as external beam radiation therapy.
Permanent brachytherapy involves introducing radioactive “seeds” into the cancerous tissue of the prostate. The seeds remain implanted in the prostate, where they give off a low dose of radiation over several months, destroying cancer cells.
The seeds are implanted while the patient is under general anesthesia. Ultrasound is used to view the prostate while a long needle introduces implants the size of a grain of rice through the perineum (the area between the scrotum and the anus) into the proper locations within the prostate. After the procedure and a short recovery, the patient goes home. While the low dose is not believed to be harmful to others, brachytherapy recipients should avoid contact with children and pregnant women for awhile.
During temporary brachytherapy, wires are introduced into the cancerous prostate, and high dose radiation is delivered during a short session that takes a few minutes. Then the wires are removed. The wires are threaded through small tubes placed in the perineum. Most men undergo several sessions, and the tubes will remain in place until all sessions are complete.
Common side effects of brachytherapy for prostate cancer are erectile dysfunction and problems urinating.
External Beam Radiation Therapy is completely non invasive. The beam of radiation is directed At the cancerous prostate gland from outside of the body through a series of short treatments Of radiation therapy. At Ironwood Cancer and Reasearch we offer cutting edge technology to give our patients the best chance at curing their prostate cancer while keeping side effects to a minimum.