Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer
Michael Jubinville, MPH
Radiation therapy is a method used to kill cancer. The goal is to get as close to the cancer without harming healthy tissue around it. This can be given:
There are different types.
Radiation is made by a machine outside the body. Short bursts are aimed at the cancer. These types are:
Seeds are implanted inside the body near the cancer site. They're placed in the prostate between the scrotum and anus. Higher doses of radiation can be used with this method. The seeds can be:
In some cases, you may need more than one type.
Alpha emitter radiation therapy is delivered to the cancer through an IV. It’s used to kill cancer that’s spread to the bones.
Side Effects and Management
Radiation aimed at the pelvis causes irritation. You may have:
There are many ways to treat these problems. Other common issues are dry, sore skin, nausea, vomiting, and feeling tired because of anemia. Talk to your healthcare team as soon as these appear so they can be better controlled. In some cases, the dose of radiation may be changed.
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Radiation therapy for prostate cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/treating/radiation-therapy.html. Updated March 11, 2016. Accessed October 30, 2018.
Smith DP, King MT, Egger S, et al. Quality of life three years after diagnosis of localised prostate cancer: population based cohort study. BMJ. 2009;339:b4817.
Treatment option overview. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/prostate/patient/prostate-treatment-pdq#section/_142. Updated October 12, 2018. Accessed October 30, 2018.
What is radiation therapy? Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/prostate-cancer/treatment/radiation-therapy. Accessed October 30, 2018.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 10/30/2018
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