Prostate Cancer Radiation Treatments

Written by Amy Hall
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Prostate cancer radiation treatments include various methods of administering radiotherapy to the affected area of the prostate gland. Some of the most common methods of radiation include 3D Conformal Radiation Therapy, External Beam Radiation, High-Dose Rate Brachytherapy, Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, and Tomo Therapy HI-ART. The type of radiation you receive depends on the extent of your cancer and whether or not it has spread.

In many cases, radiation therapy is combined with chemotherapy as a powerful approach to eradicating cancer cells completely. If cancer has spread to other organs, including the bones, liver, or lungs, then chemotherapy is going to be necessary to optimize the chances of survival. Let's take a look at some of the more popular methods of radiation therapy for prostate cancer.

3D Conformal radiation therapy is an innovative approach to radiotherapy. Computerized technology is used to produce a three-dimensional image of the tumor. This allows the technician to pinpoint the tumor and effectively destroy the cancer cells without damaging the surrounding tissues. External beam radiation is a more traditional form of radiation, and it involves a radiation beam being targeted at a specific point on the body that has internal cancer cells or a tumor growth.

Prostate Cancer Radiation

High-Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy is a very aggressive form of radiation that involves placing radiation directly inside the tumor. Many doctors believe this is an ideal form of radiation because it kills the tumor quickly and effectively, without harming surrounding tissues. Furthermore, the side effects to brachytherapy are minimal, and the treatment can be completed in 1.5 days as opposed to five to seven weeks. Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is the latest breakthrough in radiation, as it can target hard-to-reach tumors without hurting surrounding tissues. This radiation therapy is often used in conjunction with other treatments.

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