Radiation Therapy Options for Prostate Cancer Patients

Cancer of the prostate originates from the prostate gland. It is the second highest killer for men after lung cancer. Men who are 50 and above or men that are aging are frequently diagnosed with this condition. Other risk factors for this type of cancer include: diet, genes, ethnicity of the man, and some forms of medications, etc.

Just as in other forms of cancer diseases, different types of treatments have been discovered to help treat the condition. Of all the treatment options for prostate cancer Radiation therapy is more often applied. Perhaps, this has to do with the fact that it can work in all stages of prostate cancer. Here are more relevant details about this type of treatment.

Radiation therapy is a kind treatment whereby high intense rays are administered to kill cancer cells. The objective of this treatment is to destroy only cancerous cells and prevent them from spreading to healthy cells or tissues. For many years, this option has been effective in treating prostate cancer. Other quick facts on this treatment include:

  • Two categories of radiation therapy can be administered to the patient who suffers from cancer of the prostate. These are known as external radiation and internal radiation. As their names suggest, the external radiation is carried outside the body while the internal radiation is implanted inside the body.
  • Intensity- modulated radiation therapy and 3- dimensional conformal radiation therapy are types of external radiation.
  • Brachytherapy uses implantation of radioactive seeds inside the prostate to destroy cancer.
  • Cryotherapy is a form of radiation therapy that uses low temperature for treating affected cells.
  • Radiation therapy can be used for treating early stage prostate cancer. It may be chosen in preference to surgery. When the cancer is advanced, this treatment can help to relieve the symptoms in the individuals.
  • Side effects of radiation therapy include: incontinence, urinary problem, bowel problem, ligher, dry and tender skin, hair loss, etc.

If you are planning to for radiation therapy of any kind, it is advisable you talk to your doctor. You should ask him all the relevant questions on this treatment. You should have realistic expectations and don’t forget to be instructed on the all the possible side effects.  The questions you are mostly likely to ask the doctor will include but restricted to the following:

  • What type of radiation would be suitable for you?
  • Will the treatment become very effective for me?
  • What are the chances that the cancer will not resurface after the treatment?
  • What things will I be doing before, during and after surgery?
  • Will I be treated as an inpatient or as an out patient?
  • What side effects should I expect?

These are other questions should be answered by your doctor as you plan to submit yourself for radiation therapy. The National Cancer Institute (NCI), your doctor and other specialists can provide you with more details on this type of treatment. The NCI website is a good place to know more about this treatment.


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