Radiation Therapy for Treatment Of Prostate Cancer

Treatment of prostrate cancer depends on the stage of the cancer as well as on the patient’s age and overall health condition. Prostate cancer generally affects older men and is a leading cause of death.

Radiation therapy for prostate cancer is suggested for patients with slow-growing cancer. However, in some cases, it is also recommended for those with advanced or recurrent cancer.

Most cancers are treated medically with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. However, chemotherapy for treatment of prostate cancer in the early stages is not a good option. Surgery and radiation treatment are the preferred methods of treatment for prostate cancer.

The radiation therapy for prostate cancer can be segregated into two types that are, seed therapy and external beam radiation therapy. Radiation therapy is used to kill cancer cells, but not the neighboring healthy cells.

In case of external radiation treatment, the patient receives five treatments a week for seven weeks. If the cancer has proliferated, radiation can be aimed at those areas as well. This is a painless method that does not require any anesthesia. However, the patient has to visit the doctor regularly. There are some side effects of this treatment such as incontinence, impotence and fatigue. These side effects are not experienced by everyone undergoing the external radiation treatment.  

Seed therapy, also called brachytherapy is the other type of radiation treatment for prostate cancer. Small seeds of radioactive iodine or palladium placed inside the prostate gland emit radiation that kills the tumor cells. The radiation in each implant generally lasts for two years and kills the cancer cells.

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