Prostrate Cancer Radiation Treatment

Of the several techniques that may be employed in the treatment of prostate cancer, one could argue that radiation therapy or radiotherapy is the most versatile, because it is often included along with most of the other techniques before the doctor in charge is confident enough that the job has been done and the likelihood of relapse of the disease is greatly reduced.

As a matter of fact, radiation therapy is considered to be an effective alternative to prostate cancer treatment by surgery in many cases. It makes use of x-rays or other high-energy radiation to kill the cancer cells or stop them from growing larger or from metastasizing to your bones and other part of your body such as your lymph nodes and your ribs, and so on.

Specifically, therapeutic radiology, which is also referred to as radiation oncology, is based on the use of ionizing radiation in the treatment of cancer, and its application in the treatment and cure of prostate cancer is increasing rapidly. Since normal tissues have a greater ability to recover from the effects of radiation than tumors and tumor cells, the rays of high energy radiation can be used to attack the tumors and malignant cells to kill them with reduced risk of killing or damaging living cells.

Radiation therapy is usually not considered an appropriate form of treatment when the ability of normal tissues to recover from a given amount of radiation is the same as or less than that of the cancerous tissue, in which case the tumor is described as being radio-resistant. Should radiation be considered appropriate it can either be done externally or internally- If you want to know about intensity modulated radiation therapy for prostrate cancer, keep reading.

In external radiation therapy, or external beam radiation, the radiation is beamed from a machine onto the body using a linear accelerator to produce high-energy x-rays which are directed in a beam towards the prostate. External beam radiation therapy is generally administered for a few weeks on outpatient basis.

Internal radiation therapy on the other hand involves radioactive material sealed in “seeds” being inserted into the prostate through tiny incisions that have the propensity to last. Performed under local anesthesia, it saves you the risk of damaged healthy tissue and it is quite as effective as surgery for men with early-stage prostate cancer. It is also referred to as brachytherapy, which could be temporary or involving permanent implantations if there is a high risk of the tumor returning.

Radiation therapy may be used instead of surgery or after surgery in early stage prostate cancer; it may also be combined with hormonal therapy for intermediate risk disease, when surgery or radiotherapy alone is less likely to cure the cancer. In several instances, radiation oncologists have been known to combine external beam radiation and brachytherapy for intermediate to high risk situations, while a similar technique applies radiation therapy in conjunction with hormone therapy for high risk patients. More word is filtering in of doctors who can treat prostate cancers with triple modality combination of external beam radiation therapy, brachytherapy, and hormonal therapy, especially in dealing with advanced stage prostate cancer, and also painful bone metastases and spinal cord compression.

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