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How Prostate Cancer Radiation Treatment Works

Prostate cancer is deadly to men over fifty, and is often so slow to really develop that it’s not noticed until it’s too late to remove by normal surgery. Although prostate cancer can be prevented by normal routine checkups and a healthy low-stress lifestyle, it’s still possible for any male to develop prostate cancer. Because of this, prostate cancer radiation treatment is one of the most common methods of treating prostate cancer, and it’s effective for the most part. However, it isn’t perfect. Before getting prostate cancer radiation treatment, it’s best to know how the treatment works.

The Alternative to Prostate Cancer Surgery

Prostate cancer radiation treatment is also called radiotherapy or chemotherapy, and is used when surgery fails or during any stage of the cancer. This works by sending a wave of ionized radioactive particles. This radiation is absorbed into cells, which mutates the DNA and increases the likelihood of that cell dying. There are two main types of prostate cancer radiation treatment – beam therapy and brachytherapy. Radiation treatment is the most commonly used method for treating prostate cancer aside from surgery.

Beam therapy is done by placing the patient into a linear accelerator to send beams of radioactive particles firing directly at the prostate. The latest techniques enable the beam to match the shape of the prostate so that other tissue isn’t damaged. Usually, beam therapy is done over a period of several weeks daily. There are fewer side effects with newer forms of prostate cancer radiation therapy, however.

Brachytherapy, however, is done by infusing a series of small rods with radiation and inserting them into the cancerous tissue. These rods act as a permanent emitter of low-grade radiation. The X-rays are only able to travel a short distance, so there’s little chance of damage to the other surrounding tissues of the body. This treatment tends to have a better outcome as far as preventing recurring cancer. Also, there’s little chance of the radiation being exposed to other men.

Prostate cancer radiation treatment is most commonly used in men who wouldn’t really be able to have surgery safely. Prostate cancer radiation treatment is one of the most effective methods of treatment for prostate cancer, but there are some side effects, such as hair loss, sickness and overall loss of energy.

Although prostate cancer is a very deadly disease, it can be easily dealt with if it’s caught on time with regularly scheduled checkups and a healthy lifestyle.

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