What Are The Side Effects Of Brachytherapy
- Frequent urination or urinary retention or burning with urination
- Erectile dysfunction
- Urethral stricture or narrowing of the urethra
- Diarrhea or blood in the stool
- Secondary cancers
For the short time that the seeds are giving off larger amounts of radiation, you should avoid close proximity to children or pregnant women. Make sure to talk with your radiation oncologist or oncology nurse for instruction about radiation safety and exposure for family members or pets.
If you are traveling through an airport following brachytherapy treatment, there is a chance that radiation detectors will be set off. Talk to your radiation oncologist and ask for a note to indicate youve just had radiation treatment.
Radiation Therapy For Advanced Prostate Cancer
When prostate cancer spreads, it tends to travel first to the bones. This may be diagnosed using imaging tests such as computed tomography scans. Cancer in the bones may cause pain and discomfort, so radiation is one tool that doctors may recommend to help manage the disease. Other commonly used treatments for advanced prostate cancer include chemotherapy, hormone therapy or immunotherapy.
External radiation therapy may be used to help reduce bone pain by targeting specific tumors, especially on the spine.
Some patients with advanced cancer may qualify to be part of a clinical trial involving radiation. In clinical trials, researchers study the effect of new treatments to see whether these are as safe and comprehensive as current treatments, or better.
Talk With Your Doctor About Side Effects And What To Expect
Your doctor can help you determine whether radiation therapy is right for you.
In addition, an oncologist a doctor specializing in cancer treatment can help you learn how to minimize your chance of developing side effects.
They can also refer you to local support groups where you can get in touch with other people who have undergone or are undergoing the same treatment.
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Possible Side Effects Of Radiation Treatment For Prostate Cancer
The radiation used to destroy cancer cells can also hurt normal cells in the nearby area. Side effects from radiation treatment are related to the area of the body being treated. Patients start to have side effects a few weeks into their treatment. While side effects may be unpleasant, there are treatments to help deal with them. Most side effects are temporary and slowly start to go away once treatment is done.
You will be seen by your radiation oncology providers often during treatment. These visits are a chance to ask questions and to talk about any side effects and how to best manage them. You can also call your providers to speak about any side effects.
Are There Side Effects Of The Combination Approach To Prostate Cancer Radiation Therapy
When it comes to early stages of disease, patients very frequently do well with either brachytherapy or external beam radiation. Success rates of around 90% or higher can be achieved with either approach. When the disease is somewhat more advanced based on the PSA level, Gleason score, extent of visible disease on magnetic resonance imaging we have learned over the years that higher doses of radiation are critical to achieving better results. Some evidence, including a large trial, suggests that for patients with intermediate- or high-risk prostate cancer, a combined approach using brachytherapy along with external beam radiation may be best compared to standard dose external beam radiation therapy alone.
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Side Effects Of Brachytherapy
Brachytherapy causes the same types of side effects that external beam radiation therapy does, such as erectile dysfunction.
In some instances, side effects to the bowels may be less severe than those caused by EBRT. Side effects that impact the bladder, however, may be more severe.
High-dose brachytherapy may cause temporary pain and swelling. It may also cause your urine to look red or brown for a short period of time.
Brachytherapy presents with some risks that external beam radiation therapy does not. If you have permanent brachytherapy, you may emit radiation to others for several weeks or months. Your doctor may advise you to stay away from pregnant people and small children during this time.
Occasionally, the seeds may migrate away from their original placement. For this reason, you may also be instructed to wear condoms during sexual activity, to protect your partner.
Treatment By Stage Of Prostate Cancer
Different treatments may be recommended for each stage of prostate cancer. Your doctor will work with you to develop a specific treatment plan based on the cancers stage and other factors. Detailed descriptions of each type of treatment are provided earlier on this same page. Clinical trials may also be a treatment option for each stage.
Early-stage prostate cancer
Early-stage prostate cancer usually grows very slowly and may take years to cause any symptoms or other health problems, if it ever does at all. As a result, active surveillance or watchful waiting may be recommended. Radiation therapy or surgery may also be suggested, as well as treatment in clinical trials. For those with a higher Gleason score, the cancer may be faster growing, so radical prostatectomy and radiation therapy are often recommended. Your doctor will consider your age and general health before recommending a treatment plan.
ASCO, the American Urological Association, American Society of Radiation Oncology, and the Society of Urologic Oncology recommend that patients with high-risk early-stage prostate cancer that has not spread to other areas of the body should receive radical prostatectomy or radiation therapy with hormonal therapy as standard treatment options.
Locally advanced prostate cancer
Watchful waiting may be considered for older adults who are not expected to live for a long time and whose cancer is not causing symptoms or for those who have another, more serious illness.
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Coping With Side Effects Of Radiation For Prostate Cancer
The side effects you experience from radiation and other prostate cancer treatments can be upsetting and challenging to live with.
Erectile dysfunction and urinary problems may be worse in people who have these issues prior to treatment. Your age and underlying conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes may also be factors.
Urinary dysfunction often lessens or resolves on its own, over time. It can also be treated successfully with oral medication. In some instances, surgical solutions may produce long-term, satisfactory results.
Radiation therapy can damage nerves located near the prostate gland that help you have an erection. Challenges with getting and keeping an erection hard enough for penetration is common after radiation therapy.
The amount of ejaculate you produce will also diminish significantly, altering fertility potential and your ability to genetically parent a child.
If no nerve damage occurred, your doctor may prescribe medications, such as Cialis , that can help you have and keep an erection. Other treatments, such as penile injections, vacuum pumps, and penile implants can also help.
Keep in mind that you dont need to have an erection to have an orgasm. As long as you maintain normal skin sensation, orgasm is possible.
Managing Side Effects Of Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy at MSK is very precise, so there is less risk of complications. MSK doctors are working on new ways to accurately target a tumor so there are even fewer side effects. MSK was one of the first cancer centers to use an MR linear accelerator to treat people with prostate cancer. This machine lets doctors use magnetic resonance imaging to deliver radiation therapy.
However, radiation can cause short-term side effects and long-term side effects. Side effects depend on the area that was treated and whether organs were in the path of the radiations beam.
Radiation causes inflammation in tissue that was touched by the radiation beam. This swelling can affect activity in your bowel and your bladder. Your bowel is your small and large intestines. Your bladder stores urine until you need to urinate.
- Need to urinate more often than usual.
- Need to urinate at night more often than usual.
- Have sudden urges to urinate.
- Have loose stool .
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Proton Beam Radiati On Therapy
Proton beam radiation therapy capitalizes on a unique physical property of high energy protons generated from a cyclotron. The accelerated charged particles travel through tissue until reaching a depth determined by their energy. Once they reach that depth, the remainder of the radiation dose is deposited in a sharp Bragg peak with no dose going beyond that point. When multiple proton beams are used, a very sharp and tight radiation dose distribution is created. This modality is especially attractive when tumors are in close proximity to sensitive organs. PCa is one of the more common indications in which proton therapy is utilized.
At Washington University in St. Louis we are collaborating with investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Medical School conducting a randomized clinical trial of IG-IMRT versus proton beam radiation in men with low and intermediate risk PCa. The PARTIQoL trial is seeking to measure and compare relative the impact of the two modalities on patient quality of life after treatment. Figure 1 provides a comparison of these two treatment modalities.
Axial CT slice showing conformality of intensity modulated radiation therapy. Radio-opaque markers are apparent in the anterior aspect of the prostate gland. Axial CT slice showing conformality of proton beam radiation therapy in the same patient as panel a. More sparing of the anterior-lateral rectal wall and less dose to peripheral tissues is apparent.
What To Expect After Radiation Therapy For Prostate Cancer
Patients who receive radiation therapy for prostate cancer may experience a wide range of short-term and long-term side effects. And side effects may vary widely from patient to patient depending on a variety of factors, including the extent of the disease and the patients overall health. For instance, some patients may need a urinary catheter to help empty the bladder. Other patients may experience sexual side effects.
At CTCA, our trained supportive care providers work closely with you and your doctors to determine how best to address radiation therapy side effects. Services may include:
- Pelvic floor therapy
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Cyberknife Vs Other Types Of Radiation For Prostate Cancer
Radiation is a powerful tool in the fight against prostate cancer with a proven track record of safety as well as an excellent cure rate.
However, when doctors talk about radiation for prostate cancer, you should know there are different radiation treatments available. They fall into two main categories, according to the American Cancer Society: internal radiation and external beam radiation.
Internal Radiation or Brachytherapy: With internal radiation doctors place small radioactive pellets or seeds into the prostate. This treatment is used for men with early-stage, slow-growing cancers. It can also be combined with external radiation for men with a greater risk of the cancer spreading.
External Beam Radiation Therapy : This radiation is focused on the prostate gland from outside the body. EBRT is often used for earlier staged cancers or to help relieve symptoms like bone pain if the cancer has spread. There are several types of external radiation used for prostate cancer.
Why Are There Marks On My Skin
Your radiation therapist will make small marks resembling freckles on your skin along the treatment area. These marks provide targets for the treatment and are a semi-permanent outline of your treatment area.
Donât try to wash these marks off or retouch them if they fade. The therapist will re-mark the treatment area when necessary.
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Cyberknife Therapy For Prostate Cancer
CyberKnife has been used worldwide to successfully treat hundreds of thousands of prostate cancer patients.
At the CyberKnife Center of Miami, we have treated hundreds of prostate cancer patients in the South Florida area with excellent results.
We treat patients from across the country as well as right here in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties. Our staff is here to answer
any of your questions, and we are happy to offer a second opinion.If you would like to find out more about prostate cancer treatment with CyberKnife,
call us now at 305-279-2900 or go to our prostate cancer website now for more information.
With The Beam of Life, CyberKnife Miami is giving thousands of people new hope in treating various cancers where there was none. Visit the CyberKnife Center of Miami located in Miami, Florida.
How Radiation Is Used With Other Cancer Treatments
For some people, radiation may be the only treatment you need. But, most often, you will have radiation therapy with other cancer treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Radiation therapy may be given before, during, or after these other treatments to improve the chances that treatment will work. The timing of when radiation therapy is given depends on the type of cancer being treated and whether the goal of radiation therapy is to treat the cancer or ease symptoms.
When radiation is combined with surgery, it can be given:
- Before surgery, to shrink the size of the cancer so it can be removed by surgery and be less likely to return.
- During surgery, so that it goes straight to the cancer without passing through the skin. Radiation therapy used this way is called intraoperative radiation. With this technique, doctors can more easily protect nearby normal tissues from radiation.
- After surgery to kill any cancer cells that remain.
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Heres The Breakdown Of Types Of Ebrt:
Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy : This therapy uses advanced image-guided techniques to deliver larger doses of radiation to a very precise area. Since there are larger doses of radiation, treatment lasts only a few days as opposed to longer treatment courses with other forms of radiation. This therapy is less likely to damage surrounding healthy tissue.
The experts at the CyberKnife Center of Miami use a form of SBRT called CyberKnife to kill prostate cancer. Its not a knife at all, but a powerful state-of-the-art form of external radiation.
Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy :Computers map the prostate then aim radiation at the cancer. The treatment is give in lower doses of a longer course of treatment. Up to 45 days 5 days a week. This therapy is less likely to damage surrounding tissues as well.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy : This is an advanced form of 3D-CRT. It also is given in up to 45 days of treatment. The difference is that it uses special mechanical blocking systems to help spare normal tissue.
Proton Beam Radiation Therapy:This therapy focuses beams of protons instead of x-rays on the cancer. This therapy allows for more radiation to hit the prostate while doing less damage to surrounding tissues.
With each of these treatments, there are side effects, which can include short-term complications including urinary and bowel irritation.
Types Of Radiation Therapy To Treat Prostate Cancer
Our doctors will work with the rest of your care team to help you choose treatments best for you. Radiation therapy is used for most cancer stages, from early-stage tumors to more advanced prostate cancer. There are 2 kinds of radiation therapy, internal and external:
- Internal radiation therapy is when we implant something inside your body, such as radioactive seeds.
- External radiation therapy takes place outside your body. This kind of therapy uses high-energy rays to damage cancer cells so its hard for them to grow.
An example of internal radiation therapy is brachytherapy . These procedures are outpatient treatments done under anesthesia, so youll be asleep. You can go home the same day. MSK doctors were among the first to offer this form of treatment.
External beam radiation therapy uses a treatment machine called a linear accelerator. It aims a beam of radiation directly to the prostate. The beam passes through your body and destroys cancer cells in its path. You wont see or feel the radiation. MSK uses EBRT to treat localized tumors. These are tumors that are only inside the prostate. If the prostate cancer has spread, we combine EBRT with brachytherapy or other therapies.
MSK uses 3 kinds of EBRT to treat prostate cancer:
- Hypofractionated radiation therapy .
- Proton therapy, which uses charged particles called protons to kill cancer cells.
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Prostate Cancer Is A Disease In Which Malignant Cells Form In The Tissues Of The Prostate
The prostate is agland in the malereproductive system. It lies just below the bladder and in front of the rectum . It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds part of the urethra . The prostate gland makes fluid that is part of the semen.
Online Support Groups For Prostate Cancer
- Us TOO. This organization has more than 200 support groups in the United States and abroad.
- Prostate Cancer Research Institute. This website allows you to search for support groups by state.
- Cancer Care. This site offers 15-week online support groups for people diagnosed with prostate cancer. Co-sponsored by the National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions.
- Male Care. This organization offers online support groups for people with prostate cancer and their partners or caregivers.
- Imerman Angels. This support community offers one-on-one support with a mentor.
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Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Or Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy
This type of therapy is used to deliver high doses of radiation to a precise area in the prostate using specialized techniques not achievable by standard conventional radiation therapy. This allows the total dose of radiation to be given in a shorter amount of time, usually 4 -5 treatments over 1 2 weeks rather than the several weeks used for other types of external radiation therapy.
The radiation beam needs to be extremely accurate in order to limit the side effects on healthy tissue. During treatment, the body immobilization used is often more restrictive than with IMRT due to the high doses of radiation. Fiducials, or internal prostate markers, are often used in this type of treatment.
Cyberknife and Truebeam are two types of LINACs used for SBRT treatment of prostate cancer.