IMRT Prostate Cancer Treatment

This is the time for victims of prostate cancer not to despair at all because of the many advancements that have been made to medical science and technology nowadays. Just about every disease or ailment now has one form of treatment or another. For those that do not have, it’s just a matter of TIME. With prostate type of cancer, as well as other types of cancer, there are now effective treatments that work, especially when the cancer is in the early stages and hasn’t spread outside the prostate.

IMRT or Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy is one of the treatments for this condition. It is actually used to treat many types of cancer, but for prostate cancer two treatment machines – a tomotherapy unit and a Varian linear accelerator equipped with a multileaf collimator – provide the intensity modulated beams. Even though surgery was often preferred in dealing with prostate sarcomas, these improved forms of radiation have cause radiotherapy to become a lot more precise; the higher precision allowing for the beams to be focused on the prostate gland for higher dosages, reduced side effects and increased hope for higher cure.

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Men with prostate cancer have after all always wanted remedies that provided a high chance of curing the cancer and a low possibility of consequences.

Studies have consistently shown that higher doses of radiation dose provide these better chances of curing prostate cancer. A radiation dose of 66 Gray (Gy) for instance will result in a 65% chance of being cancer-free at least five years after the treatment, but a dose as high as 80 Gy often tends to result in a 90% confidence that the same will not occur over the same period of time. This is only for early stage prostate malignancies, though. Because IMRT greatly reduces the possibility of rectal damage by helping to focus the beam, higher dosages of radiation can now be used, being safer than ever before and more common.

The common side effects of traditional radiotherapy for prostate cancer patients are often diarrhea and mild rectal bleeding, as well as temporary impotence and incontinence. I will not make so bold as to say that they do not exist with Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, but I can assure that these effects are reduced and they don’t last quite as long. They are caused by the harmful consequence of radiation exposure to the health cells in the body – the same consequences kill the carcinomas, but while the cancerous cells cannot regenerate, the normal cells can and do. The side effects fade as the proctitis wears off, and the body returns to normal.

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