What is Brachytherapy for Prostate Cancer?
It is a minimally invasive treatment in which your doctor will implant or insert minute radioactive seeds (nearly similar to the size of a rice grain) permanently into your prostate gland. These seeds will irradiate the tumor from inside the prostate.
Fortunately, you will not be able to feel the radioactive implanted seeds. Your doctor will decide to use either radioactive palladium pd-103 or radioactive Iodine I -125, depending on your case. Brachytherapy is also known as interstitial radiation therapy or seed implant therapy; also the term brachytherapy is derived from the Greek word brachys, this word means short or brief.
If your prostate cancer is localized, then brachytherapy is your treatment of choice; seed implantation needs no surgical cuts, so it actually requires minimal recovery period, nearly one or two days. Furthermore, you can return to your routine daily activity few days after you receive your implant.
Brachytherapy doesn’t require any hospitalization; it is usually an outpatient procedure which can be finished at your doctor’s clinic, procedures of brachytherapy take about 60 minutes. You will return home at the same day.
Your doctor will advise you to restart your sexual life after 14 days of your seeds implantation.
In 2004, American Society of Clinical Oncology has published a report revealing the results of fifteen years data collection about results of brachytherapy for prostate cancer, these results showed that disease free survival rates after receiving seeds implantation were between eighty one percent and ninety three percent.
Of course these are great survival rates.
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Don’t worry! The side effects are minimal:
* burning sensation when you urinate or ejaculate,
* also increased in the frequency of urination.
Mostly, these symptoms disappear quickly and require no further medical treatment. Rarely, you might suffer from difficulty in urination which lasts for few weeks or few months after receiving your seed implant.
* Impotence or incontinence is some other problems coming with the seed implantation procedure, which is less in comparison with other prostate cancer treatments. Impotence after brachytherapy is usually treated with prescription medications, like ViagraT, CialisT or LevitraT.
They vary from one case to the other. Usually, you will receive anesthesia before implantation of the seeds, then your doctor will insert needles containing the seeds through your skin (in the area between your scrotum and anus) utilizing ultrasound guidance.
The seeds are left in your prostate allowing radioactive substance to irradiate locally for several months to destroy the prostate tumor. Recently, a new advanced technique in brachytherapy technology allows your doctor to securely implant a new version of radioactive seeds at the borders of your prostate, and adjacent to neighboring tissues to destroy metastasized cancer cells.
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