How Being a Health Care Clinic Volunteer Changed My Life

Understanding The Radiation Therapy Options For Your Prostate Cancer

by Brett Mills

If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may feel overwhelmed with the news and unsure of how to proceed and move forward after diagnosis. However, it is important to know that there are numerous options available to you for treating your prostate cancer. One of the many different treatment options available to you for your prostate cancer is radiation therapy. There are numerous types of radiation therapy that you can choose from, though. It is important that you get to know more details about the different types of prostate cancer radiation therapy so you can be sure that you are getting the best possible treatment for you and your prostate cancer.

Brachytherapy (Internal Radiation Therapy)

One of the radiation therapy options for your prostate cancer is a form of treatment known as brachytherapy. Brachytherapy is internal radiation which means that a radioactive seed or implant is placed inside of the body. This tiny implant works by releasing radiation on a continuous basis until the radioactivity in the seed wears out.

There are two forms of brachytherapy for prostate cancer, known as high-dose and low-dose options. Low-dose radiation is often used as a longer-term solution for prostate cancer and can help to prevent the cancer from recurring in that same area. High-dose brachytherapy, on the other hand, is often used along with external radiation and other treatment options for cancer that is more aggressive or at higher stages.

External Beam Radiation Therapy

Another common form of radiation therapy is known as external beam radiation. This treatment option involves regular radiation therapy sessions at a hospital or oncologist's office. Radiation beams will be aimed at the cancer cells in your prostate and work to break down the cancerous cells.

Oftentimes, external beam radiation therapy sessions are spaced out over the course of several weeks or months to allow the body time to recover from the initial doses. External beam radiation therapy can be more inconvenient that internal radiation because of the more frequent sessions at the doctor's office.

SBRT (also known as stereotactic body radiotherapy) is another form of external radiation therapy. However, it uses advanced imaging and targeting technologies to beam high doses of radiation to a smaller area of the body. SBRT can help to spare healthy cells in other organs around the prostate (like the bladder) and can reduce the number of sessions and the amount of time the total radiation therapy can take.

With these radiation therapy options in mind, you can be sure that you understand your treatment prospects and choose a treatment program that is best for you. Contact a company like Firelands Regional Medical Center to learn more.