Brachytherapy

Prostate Brachytherapy is a therapy that is minimally invasive in treating prostate cancer. Radioactive metallic seeds are placed into the prostate, which deliver radiation therapy and destroy the cancer cells.

Indications

Procedure

An initial study is performed with an ultrasound where the prostate is mapped. This is done in order to determine the precise placement of the seeds and the exact dose of radiation. A team which includes your urologist, a radiation physicist, and a radiation oncologist then works together to plan the best treatment for you. The patient returns at a later date and general anesthesia is given. An ultrasound probe is then placed into the rectum to image the prostate and precisely place the seeds according to the plan that was determined previously. This second procedure takes a few hours to complete. Some patients may require additional external beam radiation therapy to completely treat their cancer of the prostate.

Advantages

  • Low complications and good success rates
  • Minimally invasive therapy for cancer of the prostate
  • Shortened recovery

Side Effects

Many patients will experience minimal discomfort and some swelling after the procedure. Due to the swelling of the prostate, some patients will have difficulty with urination. A temporary catheter may be required. On occasion, patients will see blood in their urine. This will typically resolve in a short time. Some patients will experience changes in the functioning of their bowels (example: sudden need to use the restroom or diarrhea), which can be treated with medicines.