PProstate cancer remains the most common cancer diagnosis for men and it develops when abnormal cells in the prostate gland grow more quickly than in a normal prostate, forming a malignant tumour.
It is this increase in prostate size, which often results in the following symptoms being experienced:
- Increased frequency or difficulty urinating
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Blood in the urine or semen
However, early prostate cancer (while the tumour is still small) rarely causes such symptoms and so regular screening for men over the age of 50 is highly encouraged.
Radiation Therapy for prostate cancer
The following are common treatment options for a diagnosis of prostate cancer, and are often used in conjunction with each other:
- Radiation Therapy
- Hormone therapy
External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) for Prostate Cancer
At Genesis CancerCare NSW we treat prostate cancer patients with Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT), Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) or Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT). All treatment approaches allow for more precise delivery of a higher radiation dose, whilst reducing doses to nearby normal tissue. This translates into higher treatment efficacy and reduced side effects experienced. Your doctor will discuss each option with you, depending on your individual diagnosis.
Hydrogel is a temporary gel that is injected into the space between the prostate and the rectum before the start of treatment. The aim is to reduce the dose of radiation received by the rectum by increasing the distance between it and the prostate gland. This can significantly reduce side effects for patients. You can Read more about Prostate Hydrogel here .
Brachytherapy for Prostate Cancer
Unlike EBRT (which is delivered from outside of the body), prostate brachytherapy involves the delivery of radiation treatment from within the prostate, by one of two methods:
- High-Dose Rate (HDR): catheters are temporarily inserted into the prostate and a radioactive source stops in planned positions throughout the prostate to achieve prescribed treatment dose.
- Low-Dose Rate (LDR): radioactive seeds are implanted permanently into the prostate gland and deliver the required therapeutic dose over approximately a month period. At which time the seeds' radioactivity becomes negligible and they are safe to remain in the prostate.