Prostate Cancer Treatment With Radiation Therapy

Senin, 19 November 2012

There are several prostate cancer treatment options that are available. Radiation therapy, more commonly known as radiotherapy, is the most often prescribed prostate cancer treatment. Radiation therapy kills off your cancerous cells with high energy radiation beams. Although the technology now is already far more advanced as compared to many years ago; still, some normal body cells are inevitably get killed during the treatment process. A loss in your normal cells result in some of the side effects that you experience.

Radiation therapy for prostate cancer treatment can be used for all stages of the disease. If you are diagnosed as having early stage prostate cancer then radiation therapy can be used on its own. In this case, there is no need for surgery. Advanced stage cancers may require surgery followed by a course of radiation therapy for relief of pain associated with the disease.

There are two main ways in which radiation can be used as a prostate cancer treatment; internally and externally. The type of radiotherapy that will be recommended to you will be based on your circumstances and the extent of your cancer. You should get more information about the treatments and how they work from your oncologist.

The prostate cancer treatment known as brachytherapy, or internal radiation, works by implanting microbeads of radioactive material directly into your cancerous tissue. These microbeads kill the cancerous cells in the immediate vicinity. A very small number of normal body cells also become damaged in the process. You may also suffer from minor side effects such as urinary leakage and/or penile dysfunction.

Having internal radiotherapy as a prostate cancer treatment will mean you have to undergo keyhole surgery. This is a one-time procedure and involves a short stay in hospital. It is relatively expensive, however. Thus, your doctor will usually recommend this option where cure is still highly possible; in the instance where the cancerous cells have not spread to other parts of your body.

External radiation is the more commonly prescribed prostate cancer treatment. You may need to go to the hospital as often as five times per week. In this case the radiation beam penetrates through the skin, muscle and fat before it reaches the cancerous tissue of the prostate. Many normal body cells can be damaged. Thus with this form of treatment you tend to experience more severe and varied side effects than with the previous option.

In the course of this prostate cancer treatment, you may lose some of your pubic hair permanently. You may feel sore and dry in the area being treated. You may also suffer from incontinence, urinary and bowel discomfort. There is also a chance of impotence as the tissues around the prostate gland are affected. Hopefully, medical advancements can be made one day so that fewer normal body cells get damaged in the process.

Radiation therapy can be an exhausting process to go through. During this period, you are advised to take plenty of rest and to set all your worries aside.