Prostate Cancer Radiation

Understanding Cancer Radiation Treatments

The prostrate is a tiny gland that is situated under a man’s bladder. In the U.S., up to 30,000 men die due to prostate cancer. Prostate cancer starts when the cells in a man’s prostate gland begin multiplying and form a tumor. The tumor could spread to nearby organs and become a great health risk. Prostate cancer radiation treatment is the most common form of treatment for prostate cancer.

Treatment Options

After you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer through a biopsy, there are two basic radiation options for curing the prostate cancer. These are:

  • External beam radiotherapy
  • Prostate cancer branchytherapy
External Beam Radiation Therapy

This treatment involves several outpatient radiation treatments. This procedure is a radiation for prostate cancer after surgery. External beam radiation follows after a prostatectomy to eradicate the remaining prostrate cells. This treatment focuses the radiation on the tumor. There are two methods used to deliver external beam radiation: 3 dimensional conformal radiotherapy and intensity modulated radiation therapy.

With both methods the treatments are painless and may last for a maximum of five minutes. You will have seven week appointments, from Monday to Friday, and in each appointment the treatment will be administered.

When high doses are administered to the prostrate, you have a high chance of getting cured whereas low doses to neighboring organs means less side effects.

Potential side effects are discomfort during urination, fatigue and loose stools. Impotence is a common side effect with prostate cancer treatments.

Prostate Cancer Brachytherapy

This treatment is also called seed implant. This treatment involves delivering high doses of radiation to the prostrate tumor using radioactive seeds that are injected into the prostrate. This operation is guided by an ultra sound and is administered while the patient is anesthetized.

Prostate cancer radiation side effects for seed implants are the same as external beam radiotherapy. Patients will urinate frequently and have discomfort when urinating.

There is no particular prostate cancer radiation diet. However, patients are advised to limit their calorie intake and use supplements to boost the nutritional value of their diet. Additionally, eating sufficient greens and fruits is highly recommended. Green tea, fish oils and cruciferous vegetables are some of the basic foods that patients are instructed to eat.

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