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.
Treatment For A Rising Psa After Brachytherapy
A PSA test measures prostate-specific antigen levels in the blood. Benign enlargement of the prostate, inflammation of the prostate, and prostate cancer can all cause a high PSA.
PSA levels sometimes rise after brachytherapy. However, your doctor wont recommend further cancer treatment based on this test alone. Theyll look for a rising trend in PSA over time and consider other factors, such as imaging tests, before recommending further treatment.
Even if your doctor cant see cancer cells with imaging, they may recommend you undergo treatment again based on a risk-benefit analysis. The benefit of catching all the cancer may outweigh the risk of additional treatment.
What Happens During Radiation Therapy Treatment
What happens during your radiation therapy treatment depends on the kind of radiation therapy you receive.
External-beam radiation therapy
External-beam radiation therapy delivers radiation from a machine outside the body. It is the most common radiation therapy treatment for cancer.
Each session is quick, lasting about 15 minutes. Radiation does not hurt, sting, or burn when it enters the body. You will hear clicking or buzzing throughout the treatment and there may be a smell from the machine. Typically, people have treatment sessions 5 times per week, Monday through Friday. This schedule usually continues for 3 to 9 weeks, depending on your personal treatment plan.
This type of radiation therapy targets only the tumor. But it will affect some healthy tissue surrounding the tumor. While most people feel no pain when each treatment is being delivered, effects of treatment slowly build up over time and may include discomfort, skin changes, or other side effects, depending on where in the body treatment is being delivered. The 2-day break in treatment each week allows your body some time to repair this damage. Some of the effects may not go away until the treatment period is completed. Let the health care professionals if you are experiencing side effects. Read more about the side effects of radiation therapy.
Internal radiation therapy
The permanent implant loses it radioactivity
The temporary implant is removed
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Note The Time Of Your Procedure
A staff member from the Admitting Office will call you after 2:00 pm the day before your procedure. If your procedure is scheduled for a Monday, theyll call you on the Friday before.
The staff member will tell you what time to arrive at the hospital for your procedure. Theyll also remind you where to go. If you dont get a call by 7:00 pm, call .
Spaceoar Hydrogel Can Be Used In All Types Of Prostate Cancer Radiation Therapy And May Help Minimize The Side Effects Associated With Treatment1
Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays or particles to kill cancer cells. Depending on health factors and your stage of prostate cancer, radiation therapy may be a treatment option. SpaceOAR Hydrogel is designed to help reduce the radiation dose delivered to the rectum during treatment for prostate cancer and may help minimize side effects associated with treatment. There are four main types of radiation for prostate cancer. Together with your physician, youll choose the best course of treatment for your prostate cancer journey.1,3
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How Can I Choose From Among The Options
In addition to talking with family and friends, you will need a team of physicians to help advise you. It is advisable that you meet with all of the specialists involved in your cancer treatment planning prior to making a decision regarding treatment, including:
- your primary care physician as well as a urologist to discuss surgery
- a radiation oncologist to discuss radiation therapy.
Once you have met with these doctors, you will be able to make a more informed decision regarding your treatment options. If you have an early-stage cancer or moderately advanced cancer and there is no evidence of spread to other organs , the two major options for treatment are surgery or radiation therapy .
If your cancer is advanced and you require hormonal suppression therapy or chemotherapy, then you will also need a medical oncologist, who administers these drugs. Hormone-ablation therapy, which is often used to treat more advanced prostate cancer by suppressing your androgen hormones since most prostate cancer growth is stimulated by androgen or testosterone. The androgen suppression treatment can be administered by your internist, urologist, radiation oncologist or medical oncologist. Depending on the stage of the cancer, hormone suppression therapy may be used in addition to radiation therapy to help control the cancer. Hormone suppression therapy may be administered for as little as four to six months, or for as long as two to three years.
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Symptomatic treatment of an enlarged prostate usually involves a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may be the best option if you suffer from chronic urination. It will help the body adjust to the increased size of the prostate. Also, taking regular urination intervals will help retrain the bladder to function properly. Inactivity also contributes to urine retention, and cold temperatures can increase the urge to urinate.
Invasive treatment of enlarged prostate includes medication that relieves the pressure on the urethra and bladder. However, if the condition is severe, it may require surgical intervention. If treatment is not successful, the enlarged prostate can become a potentially life-threatening disease. As the hormone levels in the body change, the enlarged prostate can lead to various complications, including urinary retention and even cancer. This is why it is critical to see a doctor for further evaluation.
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What Symptoms Should I Look Out For
If your cancer does come back, the first sign is likely to be a rise in your PSA level, rather than any symptoms. And problems will often be side effects of treatment rather than a sign that your cancer has come back.
However, its important to let your doctor or nurse know if you do get any new symptoms or side effects, or are worried that your cancer might have come back. If your cancer has come back and has spread from the prostate to other parts of the body, it can cause symptoms, such as extreme tiredness â rel=ânofollowâ> fatigue), bone pain and problems urinating.
Your doctor or nurse can help find out what might be causing your symptoms and help you manage any side effects. They can also look at your PSA level and do other tests to see whether or not your cancer might have come back.
What other tests might I have?
If your doctor or nurse is concerned about your PSA level or if you have new symptoms that suggest your cancer might have come back, they may recommend that you have some other tests, such as a prostate biopsy, MRI scan, CT scan, bone scan or PET scan.
Your doctor or nurse will explain these tests to you if you need them, or you can get in touch with our Specialist Nurses for more information.
Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Or Stereotactic Ablative Radiation Therapy
Guided by advanced imaging techniques, SBRT delivers large doses of radiation over a short period of time to a precise area. SBRT is commonly referred to by the names of the machines used to deliver the radiation. SBRT can offer some patients with localized prostate cancer the convenience of fewer treatments while maintaining treatment effectiveness and safety. SBRT may also be used to treat metastases for some patients to reduce tumor mass and potentially enhance survival.
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Possible Side Effects Of Ebrt
Some of the side effects from EBRT are the same as those from surgery, while others are different.
Bowel problems: Radiation can irritate the rectum and cause a condition called radiation proctitis. This can lead to diarrhea, sometimes with blood in the stool, and rectal leakage. Most of these problems go away over time, but in rare cases normal bowel function does not return. To help lessen bowel problems, you may be told to follow a special diet during radiation therapy to help limit bowel movement during treatment. Sometimes a balloon-like device or gel is put between the rectum and the prostate before treatment to act like a spacer to lessen the amount of radiation that reaches the rectum.
Urinary problems: Radiation can irritate the bladder and lead to a condition called radiation cystitis. You might need to urinate more often, have a burning sensation while you urinate, and/or find blood in your urine. Urinary problems usually improve over time, but in some men they never go away.
Some men develop urinary incontinence after treatment, which means they cant control their urine or have leakage or dribbling. As described in the surgery section, there are different levels and types of incontinence. Overall, this side effect occurs less often with radiation therapy than after surgery. The risk is low at first, but it goes up each year for several years after treatment.
What Is Proton Beam Radiation Therapy
This type of therapy treats tumors with protons instead of X-ray radiation. It may be able to deliver more radiation specifically to a prostate cancer tumor with less damage to normal tissue.
Proton beam therapy might be a safe treatment option when a doctor decides that using X-rays could be risky for a patient. But so far, research hasnÃ¢t shown that it works better than traditional radiation therapy against solid cancers in adults.
The side effects of proton beam therapy are similar to the ones that other types of radiation treatment bring on. But since proton therapy may be less damaging to normal tissue, the side effects might be milder.
After treatment, you may gradually have ones like:
- Fatigue or low energy
- Sore, reddened skin around the area where you got treated
- Hair loss around the treatment spot
One of the disadvantages of proton therapy is that it might not be covered by all insurance companies. YouÃ¢d need to check with your health plan to find out.
Proton therapy also isnÃ¢t widely available. You can get it only at certain centers in the U.S.
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The Spaceoar Treatment Is Not A Medical Process That Needs To Be Feared In Any Way Theres No Pain Involved There Is Very Little Impact On A Persons Lifestyle Or Even On The Day That They Have The Treatment*individual Patient Experience May Vary
To determine if SpaceOAR Hydrogel is right for you, consult your healthcare team. This guide can help facilitate a conversation with your doctor.
1. Mariados N, Sylvester J, Shah D, et al. Hydrogel Spacer Prospective Multicenter Randomized Controlled Pivotal Trial: Dosimetric and Clinical Effects of Perirectal Spacer Application in Men Undergoing Prostate Image Guided Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015 92:971-977.
2. Data on file with Boston Scientific.
Caution: U.S. Federal law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician.
CAUTION: The law restricts these devices to sale by or on the order of a physician. Indications, contraindications, warnings and instructions for use can be found in the product labeling supplied with each device. Information for use only in countries with applicable health authority registrations. This material not intended for use in France.
Products shown for INFORMATION purposes only and may not be approved or for sale in certain countries. Please check availability with your local sales representative or customer service.
SpaceOAR is intended to temporarily position the anterior rectal wall away from the prostate during radiotherapy for prostate cancer and in creating this space it is the intent of SpaceOAR Hydrogel to reduce the radiation dose delivered to the anterior rectum.
All images are the property of Boston Scientific. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
What Is Prostate Cancer Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy is treatment that uses high-energy radiation to kill the prostate cancer cells. Radiation therapy works by delivering high doses of radiation to the exact targeted area while minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy tissue.
Radiation therapy for prostate cancer is personalized for each patient based on how aggressive their disease is.
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What Happens On Treatment Days
If you get external radiation therapy, youâll need to get regular sessions during a period of about 5 to 8 weeks.
For each treatment, the radiation therapist will help you onto the treatment table and into the correct position. Once the therapist is sure youâre positioned well, theyâll leave the room and start the radiation treatment.
Theyâll watch you closely during the treatment. Cameras and an intercom are in the treatment room, so the therapist can always see and hear you. Try to stay still and relaxed during treatment. Let the therapist know if you have any problems or you feel uncomfortable.
Theyâll be in and out of the room to reposition the machine and change your position. The treatment machine wonât touch you, and youâll feel nothing during the treatment. Once the treatment is done, the therapist will help you off the treatment table.
The radiation therapist will take a port film, also known as an X-ray, on the first day of treatment and about every week thereafter. Port films verify that youâre being positioned accurately during your treatments.
Port films donât provide diagnostic information, so radiation therapists canât learn about your progress from them. But these films do help the therapists make sure theyâre delivering radiation to the precise area that needs treatment.
Arrange For Someone To Take You Home
You must have a responsible care partner take you home after your procedure. A responsible care partner is someone who can help you get home safely. They should be able to contact your care team if they have any concerns. Make sure to plan this before the day of your procedure.
If you dont have a responsible care partner to take you home, call one of the agencies below. Theyll send someone to go home with you. Theres a charge for this service, and youll need to provide transportation. Its OK to use a taxi or car service, but you still need a responsible care partner with you.
|Agencies in New York|
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About Dr Dan Sperling
Dan Sperling, MD, DABR, is a board certified radiologist who is globally recognized as a leader in multiparametric MRI for the detection and diagnosis of a range of disease conditions. As Medical Director of the Sperling Prostate Center, Sperling Medical Group and Sperling Neurosurgery Associates, he and his team are on the leading edge of significant change in medical practice. He is the co-author of the new patient book Redefining Prostate Cancer, and is a contributing author on over 25 published studies. For more information, contact the Sperling Prostate Center.
What You Need To Know About The Prostate Radiation Guard For Prostate Cancer Patients
A enlarged prostate can also cause blockages in the urethra. A blocked urethra can also damage the kidneys. A patient suffering from an enlargement of the prostate may have pain in his lower abdomen and genitals. If pain is present, a digital rectal examination will reveal hard areas. A doctor may prescribe surgery or perform an endoscopic procedure. If the enlarged prostate is not completely removed, it will shrink.
While the size of an enlarged prostate will influence the extent of urinary symptoms, men may experience a range of urinary symptoms. Some men have minimal or no symptoms at all. Some men will have a very enlarged prostate, whereas others will have a mild enlargement. Generally, the symptoms can stabilize over time. Some men may have an enlarged prostate but not notice it. If they have an enlarged colon, their physician can perform a TURP procedure.
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Does Msk Offer Proton Therapy For Prostate Cancer
Some men with prostate cancer may choose to receive another form of external-beam radiation therapy called proton therapy. Proton therapy can deliver a high radiation dose to the prostate while lowering the radiation dose to normal surrounding tissue. It is unclear if there is any advantage to proton therapy compared with IMRT. We are now studying how these approaches compare in terms of side effects and outcomes at the New York Proton Center. These efforts are being led by radiation oncologist Daniel Gorovets.
Prostate Cancer Specialists From The Radiotherapy Department At Norfolk And Norwich University Hospitals Foundation Trust Have Become The First In The World To Use An Innovative Technique To Help Patients Receiving Treatment For Prostate Cancer
Some patients receiving radiotherapy for prostate cancer will have their treatment split into two portions. The first stage of killing the cancerous cells uses a temporary radioactive implant, in a process known as high dose rate brachytherapy. The second part is delivered as a powerful x-ray beam from outside the patient, in a process known as external beam radiotherapy, which is carried out over a number of appointments. During both stages, however, it is possible for healthy tissue to be damaged such as the large bowel which can become chronically inflamed.
The insertion of the implant immediately before an HDR procedure can not only reduce the number of appointments a patient has to have, but can also enable the treatment team to plan in real time and better position needles
The composition of other spacing devices has prevented their use during HDR brachytherapy treatment, as they limit the visibility of the ultrasound imaging, which is key for monitoring this type of brachytherapy treatment. The hyaluronic acid spacer does not interfere with the ultrasound signals which means the prostate gland and surrounding organs can be seen fully after the implant has been inserted. This allows the implant to be inserted during the HDR procedure without reducing image quality for the radiotherapist placing the needle.
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Foundation Trust
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