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Why You Should Choose Radiation Seeds for Prostate Cancer

Radiation is a therapy that destroys cancer cells. During the process, the radiation seeds are inserted right into the prostate tumor, where each seed delivers radiation to a targeted area of tissue.

Shortcomings of Freehand Technique

It involves placing the seeds while performing an open surgery. Some of the target tissues can be obliterated or left untouched. It was ranked third behind radical prostatectomy and external-beam radiation in the 1960’s & 70’s.

The procedure did not suit men with high-grade tumors because seed implantation focused on the tissue within the prostate but not the seminal vesicles and nearby membrane. 

Also, the seeds may produce side effects, such as urinary incontinence.

Suitable Patient for Radioactive Seeds 

An ideal candidate for prostate seed therapy is also qualified for both radical prostatectomy and external-beam radiation therapy because these treatments may also cure prostate cancer among patients with the early-stage, localized cancer.

Digital Advanced Technique

Instead of the freehand method, today, doctors use a sophisticated digital technique that uses ultrasound and Computed Tomography (CT) scans to help cure prostate cancer.

Surgery versus Radiation Seeds

Patrick C. Walsh, a Professor of Urology at John Hopkins, wanted to establish the outcome if surgery was used instead. To answer the question, a Johns Hopkins Medicine study monitored the results for 76 patients who received prostatectomy as treatment.

At seven years, ninety-eight percent of patients who underwent radical prostatectomy had a PSA below 0.2 ng/ml after seven years. Recently, the Pacific Northwest Cancer Foundation reported that ten years after the surgery, the number of men with a PSA of less than 0.5 ng/ml had dropped from 79% to 60%. The results are the same as those from the freehand method.

During surgery, some cancer cells can be left behind, unlike using seeds where every tumor is targeted. 

The radical prostatectomy test, conducted to ensure a patient is free from cancer, is the same as full brachytherapy.

Compared to surgery, brachytherapy and external-beam therapy have 5-year disease-free rates of approximately 50%, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

 

 

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