How Radiation Treatment For Prostate Cancer Works
Most cancers are treated medically with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Currently, there isnít a good chemotherapy option for prostate cancer in the early stages, which leaves surgery or radiation treatment for prostate cancer.
If the surgeon gets the entire tumor, surgery is a 100% cure. It does require a hospital stay and wearing a catheter for a while. There are risks with any surgery, and one risk with prostate surgery is impotence
There are two types of radiation treatment for prostate cancer: seed therapy and external beam radiation therapy. Radiation therapy works by killing the cancer cells. The goal is to kill all the cancer cells, but not any healthy cells.
The first type of radiation treatment for prostate cancer is external radiation treatment. Usually, the man receives five treatments a week for seven weeks. If the cancer has spread, radiation can be aimed at those areas, too. External radiation is painless, doesnít require any anesthesia and only takes a few minutes each time. It does mean a daily trip to a treatment facility, though.
Side effects of radiation treatment for prostate cancer include incontinence, impotence and fatigue. Not everyone experiences these side effects.
The other type of radiation treatment for prostate cancer is seed therapy, or brachytherapy. Small seeds of radioactive iodine or palladium are placed inside the prostate gland, where they emit radiation that kills the tumor cells. The radiation in each implant lasts about two years, which is long enough to kill the cancer cells.
Seed therapy has about the same cure rate and side effects as external radiation treatment for prostate cancer. Seed therapy is only used for tumors that have not metastasized outside the prostate. The initial seed implantation causes some discomfort, but the patient can usually return to his usual routine in a day or two.
Radiation treatment for prostate cancer is successful when the cancer is diagnosed early. Many men prefer it to surgery because it is less invasive.
About the Author: Dean Iggo is the webmaster of ProstateHealthAdvice.com which provides prostate cancer treatments and symptoms of everything from an enlarged prostate to prostate cancer