Radioactive Seed Implants for Prostate Cancer Explained

May 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer Treatment

If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and have asked to undergo radioactive seed implants as treatments, then you may want to know more about this procedure. This article explain what this treatment is all about  , also from the information provided you would get to know why this treatment has been recommended for you.

Radioactive Seed Implants is also known as internal radiation therapy or Brachytherapy. It is a kind of radiation therapy whereby radioactive seeds are implanted into the prostate gland so they can emit heat or high intense rays that kill prostate cancer cells. The seeds are introduced into the gland with the guidance of an Ultrasound.

There are types of radioactive seed implants:

1 – Low Dose Rate (LDR) or Permanent Brachytherapy – in this procedure, radioactive seeds of between 40 and 100 are implanted into the prostate. These seeds are left permanently in the body to damage prostate cancer cells. The seeds left would eventually become biologically inert.

2 – High Dose Rate (HDR) or Temporary Brachytherapy – The second procedure also allow the introduction of seeds or radioactive materials into the prostate. However, the seeds are allowed to remain for between 5 and 15 minutes, after which they are removed from the body. The procedure can be repeated at least once in the next couple of days.

Men eligible for Radioactive Seed Implants

Brachytherapy is not suitable for everyone that has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. It is mostly recommended for men with early stage prostate cancer. If you have Gleason Score less than 6 and you have Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) level less than 10, then you could be eligible for this procedure. So, when you still have localized prostate cancer (i.e. cancer still restricted within the prostate gland) and not aggressive, then this is a good treatment for you.

Side effects of radioactive seed implants

Many men that have undergone this treatment have relatively minimal side effects after treatment. Urinary incontinence is reduced except for men that have undergone other Urinary surgeries.  Impotence occur in small fraction of men, and rectal bleeding is reported in one 1% of the patients. However, the need to urinate frequently and having burning sensation when urinating are most common.

Conclusively, the above have been an explanation of radioactive seed implants used for treating prostate cancer. You can talk a Certified Urologist or Oncologist for more details.

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