Prostate cancer is the most frequently observed type of cancer in men over the age of 50.
One of the alternative treatments in prostate cancer, brachitherapy is based on the principle of placing radioactive sources inside the prostate tissue which subject the cancerous tissue to slow but continuous beam emission at low dosages. Compared with other therapeutic methods, brachitherapy has fewer side effects.
Get a Free Quote
Brachytherapy is a form of radiotherapy where a radiation source is placed inside or next to the area requiring treatment. Brachytherapy is commonly used as an effective treatment for cervical, prostate, breast, and skin cancer and can also be used to treat tumours in many other body sites. Brachytherapy can be used alone or in combination with other therapies such as surgery, External Beam Radiotherapy (EBRT) and chemotherapy.
In contrast to EBRT in which high-energy x-rays are directed at the tumour from outside the body, brachytherapy involves the precise placement of radiation sources directly at the site of the cancerous tumour. Thus the irradiation only affects a very localized area around the radiation sources. In addition, if the patient moves or if there is any movement of the tumour within the body during treatment, the radiation sources retain their correct position in relation to the tumour.
Brachytherapy to treat prostate cancer can be given either as permanent LDR seed implantation or as temporary HDR brachytherapy.
Permanent seed implantation is suitable for patients with a localised tumour and good prognosis. The procedure can be completed quickly and patients are usually able to go home on the same day of treatment and return to normal activities after 1 to 2 days. Permanent seed implantation is often a less invasive treatment option compared to the surgical removal of the prostate.
Temporary HDR brachytherapy is a newer approach to treating prostate cancer, but is currently less common than seed implantation. It is predominately used as to provide an extra dose in addition to EBRT (known as ‘”boost” therapy) as it offers an alternative method to deliver a high dose of radiation therapy that conforms to the shape of the tumour within the prostate, while sparing radiation exposure to surrounding tissues.
Green Light Therapy for the Prostate
The green light therapy procedure is very quick and effective at reducing an enlarged prostate. First, a very small tube is inserted into the patient's urethra via a cystoscope. A laser beam carefully burns away the excess prostate tissue, which will release the pressure on the urethra and allow easier urine flow. The entire procedure lasts no more than an hour and the patient can usually leave after a few hours of resting.
For men who have urine flow problems caused by an enlarged prostate, green light therapy treatments can cure the problem easily without invasive surgery. The results will last unless the prostate enlarges again, and patients can be on their feet in a matter of hours with no pain after a few days.
While green light therapy treatment can be a good remedy for some, there are a few minimal risks involved. According to the Green Light Therapy website, less than 1 percent of treated men have experienced some sexual dysfunction. Other side effects include a burning sensation in the urethra, blood in the urine, and bladder pain or cramps.