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What is Brachytherapy? PDF Print E-mail

Brachytherapy also called radioactive seed implantation; Brachytherapy is the placement of small radioactive "seeds" directly into cancerous regions under the guidance of Ultra Sound and fluoroscopy. Brachytherapy is designed to provide a highly targeted dose of radiation to the prostate without harming other organs or surrounding healthy tissue. Generally, the procedure requires only a single hospital visit. Doctors pinpoint the location of the tumor and map the area where the seeds will be placed. Using a special probe, the physician positions hollow needles to deliver, on average, 100 seeds to the prostate. Each seed is smaller than a grain of rice, and they remain in the prostate permanently.

Studies have shown that Brachytherapy is an effective treatment option with a lower risk of side effects and complications. The potential risk of incontinence and impotence may be reduced with radioactive seed implants compared to surgery, allowing patients to resume their lifestyle- and quality of life- quickly. 10- year and 12 year studies of prostate cancer patients showed PSA levels following Brachytherapy superior to other forms of treatment with 87% biochemical and clinical control.


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