Brachytherapy Treatment for Curing Prostate Cancer

Prostate Gland Cancer
Prostate Gland is an exocrine gland which forms a part in the male reproductive system. Prostate cancer is the growth of the cancer in the prostate gland. Usually the cancer in the prostate gland starts in the cells of the glands and is called adenocarcinoma. Prostate cancer is known to be a slow developing and growing condition but in some cases the growth is very fast.
Treatment for prostate cancer
Brachytherapy is a treatment procedure though which one can cure prostate cancer. It is an internal radio therapy which is recommended by the doctors if your cancer is at a lower risk.
Who can undertake a brachytherapy?
* If the prostate cancer is contained within the prostate gland and has not spread to the other parts of the body. This means that the cancer is at its early stage.
* The prostate cancer must not have grown more than a millimeter or two past the outer covering of the prostate for one to have a brachytherapy done.
* In case you have a larger prostate gland then you have to go through hormonal treatment to shrink the gland before you can do a brachytherapy. If the gland is big, it is not possible to place the seeds in all the right areas of the gland.
* In case a patient has a high PSA level then brachytherapy is not recommended to that person.
Types of brachytherapy
There are two types of brachytherapy-
* Permanent brachytherapy (low dose rate, LDR) – Radioactive seeds are put into needles which are inserted to the skin in the area which lies between the scrotum and anus, into the prostate gland. These seeds are left in the gland while the needles are removed, these seed give out a mild radiation for months. The radiation from the seeds travels a very short distance, so the seeds can give off a large amount of radiation in a very small area. The implants remain in place permanently, and become biologically inactive after a period of few months. The amount of damage to nearby healthy tissues is limited in this process.
* Temporary brachytherapy (high dose rate, HRD) – Brachytherapy for prostate cancer is also done through this way. Though this is not a widely used or recommended process. This process uses high amount of radiation which can cause higher damage to the nearby glands and organs. Hollow needles are placed through the skin between the scrotum and anus and into the prostate. Nylon tubes are placed in these needles. The needles are then removed but the catheters stay in place. The needles are removes and the catheters are left there. Radioactive things are then put into the catheters for few minutes. It is done for a period of few days and then the catheters are removed.

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