Brachytherapy for the Treatment of Prostate Cancer

Brachytherapy, a form of radiation prostate cancer treatment, is one of several approaches to care offered by the Phoenix urology specialists of Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona. In this minimally invasive procedure, radioactive seeds are inserted into the prostate. Over time, radioactive material is dispensed, destroying the cancerous prostatic cells.

Patient Criteria: Who is a Candidate for Brachytherapy?

To determine if Brachytherapy is a viable treatment option for an individual’s prostate cancer, the Urologists of Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona will closely evaluate a patient’s condition, including their Gleason Score and PSA Level. Brachytherapy as a primary prostate cancer treatment option is typically advisable for men with a Gleason Score of six or less and a PSA Level not exceeding ten. Additionally, Brachytherapy is not recommended for men whose cancer has metastasized outside of the prostate gland or whose prostate is of an enlarged size.

What to Expect: An In-Depth Look at Brachytherapy Treatment for Prostate Cancer

There are two forms of Brachytherapy for prostate cancer. One method involves the implantation of permanent radioactive seeds into the prostate gland. During this minimally invasive radiation procedure, Doctors of Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona insert a series of needles into the prostate via the perineum. The placement of the needles is carefully mapped and guided using ultrasound technology. Radioactive seeds are then permanently lodged into the prostate tissue and overtime, gradually release radioactive material to destroy the cancerous cells. The second form of prostate Brachytherapy is known as High-dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy. In this variation, hollow catheters are inserted in and around the prostate gland through the perineum. High-dose radiation pellets are then placed within the catheters for a period of 15-20 minutes. After treatment, the catheters and radioactive pellets are removed from the body.

Side Effects of Brachytherapy

Men commonly experience urinary side effects immediately after the implantation of the radioactive seeds. This can include the urgent need to urinate, urinary frequency, or a slow or weak urine stream. These symptoms will then reappear when the dissemination of radioactive material is at its strongest, approximately 2-6 weeks after implantation. Permanent seed implantation is considered an outpatient procedure with an estimated recovery period of one to two days. High-dose rate (HDR) Brachytherapy requires a one to two day hospital stay as dosages are staggered. To learn more about this and other prostate cancer treatments, contact Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona or click on the links provided below:

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