Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer that affects men. Your treatment options for prostate cancer vary and may include brachytherapy, which is a form of internal radiation treatment. The experienced team at Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia, offers brachytherapy as an option to treat prostate cancer. For information about brachytherapy and how it may help you, call the office today or book an appointment online.
One out of every nine men is diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in his life, according to the American Cancer Society. Prostate screening exams, which usually begin around age 50, are the first place to start if you have concerns about prostate cancer. The exam consists of a digital rectal exam to assess for changes in your prostate and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. An elevated PSA level may indicate inflammation, infection, or cancer of your prostate.
If abnormalities are discovered during your prostate screening exam, then you may need additional tests, such as an ultrasound or MRI, and ultimately a biopsy for a formal diagnosis. When prostate cancer is found early, treatment may be more effective and produce a better outcome.
Brachytherapy is a radiation treatment for prostate cancer in which tiny radioactive pellets, referred to as seeds, are placed in the cancerous tissue in your prostate gland. The pellets release radiation, which kills the cancer.
Brachytherapy allows your provider to deliver radiation directly to your cancerous tissue without harming the surrounding area, so it causes fewer side effects than traditional radiation therapy.
Your provider at Urological Associates determines if you’re a good candidate for brachytherapy after a comprehensive examination. Generally, brachytherapy is recommended to men in the early stages of their prostate cancer.
Placement of the radioactive pellets takes about 45-60 minutes. During the procedure, as many as 50-100 pellets may be placed in the gland. After your procedure, you should be able to resume your usual activities.
You’ll be provided with specific guidelines on how to prepare and what to expect before, during, and after your pellet placement so you can prepare physically and emotionally for the procedure and treatment.
While in your prostate, the seeds release radiation for up to three months, and and then they’re removed. Your specialist at Urological Associates conducts a scan of your prostate to assess the effectiveness of treatment and determine the next step in your prostate cancer care.
To learn more about your treatment options for prostate cancer, including brachytherapy, call Urological Associates today or book an appointment online.