Prostate Brachytherapy treatment involves the placement of radioactive seeds, approximately the size of a small grain of rice into the prostate. Approximately 60 - 120 seeds are implanted through small needles into the prostate gland during this 1 hour outpatient procedure where you will be given either spinal or general anesthesia to make you completely pain free during the procedure. Your physician may request that you visit the facility a few days prior to the treatment in order to obtain current PSA scores and other data that will help in creating a treatment plan for you.
Since brachytherapy is considered a minimally invasive procedure these treatment are often given in an out-patient facility. Using ultrasound guidance or computer aided planning the seeds are placed in the prostate and arranged in a way to give off a uniform dose of radiation delivered exactly where it is needed. The seeds will remain in place after the procedure and slowly lose their radioactivity.
Radiation safety precautions with palladium seeds are minimal. Contact with children and pregnant women is safe for all. It is recommended that you hold nursing age babies on your shoulder and not on your lap for the first month after the implant. Your doctor will discuss in greater detail specific precautions you should be aware of.
You may return to normal activities in several days or strenuous activity may be restricted for a short period of time as you heal.
Should you choose brachytherapy for your prostate cancer treatment you should talk with a urology specialist regarding their particular approach to brachytherapy. When you contact Olympia Medical Center you will be referred to a urological specialist who can determine the best approach for you.
Olympia Medical Center specializes in the use of computerized intraoperative treatment planning. To learn more about the specific benefits of this approach click here.
Summary Permanent Seed Brachytherapy
· Shorter recovery time than surgery
· Outpatient procedure
· Less patient discomfort
· Cost competitive
· Surgery candidates are all seed candidates
· PSA control rate for seeds and surgery is the same.
· Recovery time for seeds is much shorter than for surgery.
Although the process is 25 years old, brachytherapy has become a mainstream element in urological surgery since 1985 and has resulted in less complications and impact on the patient with prostate cancer.
Brachytherapy is the least expensive way of treating prostate cancer when all things are considered, including the patient’s hospital stay, follow-up treatments and doctor visits.
In the New England Journal of Medicine article on brachytherapy, patients have had fewer complications after seeding than surgery or external radiation. The 1% rate of urinary incontinence is lower in brachytherapy than in external radiation or surgery. The side effects for brachytherapy are comparable to other forms of treatment. For details on side effects click here.
Brachytherapy is a team process in prostate surgery.
Brachytherapy allows your Urologist to have another weapon against prostate disease in the operating room. Your Urologist will be involved in the brachytherapy process during the procedure.
The misconception: Prostate removal is better than seed placement. As many as 20% of patients who have surgery require further treatment within the 1st year because of rising PSA values.
The advantage of this joint procedure allows precise needle placement by the urological surgeon and the computerized seed placement planning allows accurate seed placement by the Urologist.
This allows the Urologist to offer a minimally invasive option to robotic surgery. Seed placement is even less invasive than robotic surgery. Seed placement allows the patient to return home the same day and go back to all daily activities the following day.
AVAILABLE AT OLYMPIA MEDICAL CENTER
Call (800) 547-5189
Go to http://www.nocancer.com/ for more information.