Brachytherapy refers to internal radiation treatment that is achieved by implanting a radioactive material directly and/or close to the tumour. As far as brachytherapy is concerned, a high dose is locally delivered to the tumour, along with a rapid dose fall-off in the adjacent healthy tissues.
There are two separate kinds of brachytherapy, and they include: intracavitary irradiation and interstitial brachytherapy.
The intracavitary irradiation makes use of radioactive sources that are put in body cavities in close nearness to the tumour. Interstitinal brachytherapy makes use of radioactive seeds that are implanted directly into the tumour.
This therapy is applied either as a low dose rate, which is based on permanent implants; or high dose rate, which is based on temporary implants.
Prostate brachytherapy works for a specific set of Australian men who have low-risk prostate cancer. This simply means that these men possess non-palpable tumours. The smaller the prostate, the easier it is to saturate it with radioactive seeds, not to mention that these men present minimal side effects. Australians who fit these criteria can be very easily and conveniently managed by prostate brachytherapy.
Where one receives his treatment makes a difference in prostate cancer outcome. The appropriate clinic is the one that would access the severity of the prostate, including how small or big it is before recommending for prostate brachytherapy. This will determine the nature of side effects one is bound to experience once the procedure is complete. Prostate size should not exceed 60 cc.
Australians with large prostates are recommended for surgery or external beam radiation therapy. It has been found that the bigger the prostate, the more seeds are inserted, the higher the radiation dose to the adjacent rectum along with other surrounding areas, including the urethra.
In addition, the central lobe of the prostate should not be too enlarged. Enlargement of the central lobe will require large number of seeds in order for the condition to be fully treated. Consequently, a very high dose of radiation to the urethra is introduced, increasing the risks of urethral damage. Urethra damage in this case include: a decrease in the calibre of the passage, and difficulty in urinating.
Prostate brachytherapy has been used increasingly in Australia as a curative treatment for individuals of all ages who have clinically localized prostate cancer. The procedure involves the placement of radioactive elements directly into the man’s prostate gland. This interest in brachytherapy is primarily due to the development of closed transperineal approach, and the sophisticated treatment planning software. Prostate brachytherapy signifies the decisive three-dimensional conformal therapy. Permitting dose escalation that exceeds other radiation modalities with cancericidal treatment margins sustainably larger compared with those obtained with radical prostatectomy.
The implanted radioactive seeds irritate the bladder as well as the urethra to a certain level. The number along with the degree of severity of side effects is associated with the experience of the Australian prostate brachytherapy specialist. Success rate is high when the prostate is small since the patient is significantly exposed to a minimal amount of radioactive elements. Low success rates are characterized by post-brachytherapy symptoms.
1) Brachytherapy St Vincent’s Clinic: http://www.prostate.com.au/treatments-available/brachytherapy/
2) Treatment Options: Brachytherapy: http://www.urologysydney.com.au/about-urology-sydney/sydney-prostate-cancer-centre/brachytherapy-treatment/
3) Who can be treated using Prostate Brachytherapy & What is the Brachytherapy Procedure?: http://www.brisbaneurology.com.au/guide.html