Prostate Brachytherapy Treatment

If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may benefit from Low Dose Radiation (LDR) brachytherapy – a minimally invasive procedure in which low dose radioactive implants or “seeds” are placed in your prostate gland to target and eliminate cancer from inside the gland. With brachytherapy there is minimal exposure to the tissue surrounding the prostate. The main advantage of brachytherapy is that it delivers radiation in a localized area, minimizing the radiation dose to surrounding tissues.

Brachytherapy has several advantages compared to other treatments for localized prostate cancer such as surgery or external beam radiotherapy (radiation therapy). You will usually be able to return to normal activity the next day. Also, a majority of insurance companies usually cover brachytherapy.

More advantages of brachytherapy:

  • Less erectile dysfunction than radical prostatectomy (surgery to remove the prostate gland and some surrounding tissue)
  • Helps maintain sexual potency
  • Precise placement of the seeds offers you a more tailored treatment
  • Shorter procedure avoids the physical trauma of a major surgical procedure
  • Shorter recovery time
  • An outpatient procedure
  • Minimal bleeding

Our prostate brachytherapy treatment:
Your procedure will be performed in the Outpatient Care Center at Clovis Community Medical Center. Your care team will consist of a radiation oncologist, urologist, radiation physicist and an anesthesiologist.

There are two stages in our brachytherapy procedure:

Stage 1 - Planning
The planning stage, also called a prostate volume study, measures the size and shape of your prostate. This determines how many radiation seeds your physician will insert.

Stage 2 - Implantation
The second stage is the seed implantation. Your physician will implant between 60-120 seeds into your prostate either individually or as strands of several seeds linked together. Once the seeds are in the correct place, the procedure is complete. These permanent, harmless implants stay in the prostate slowly giving out radiation until they are no longer radioactive. The amount of radiation and its effect in the prostate tumor are controlled by the number of seeds implanted and their precise positioning. This varies from patient to patient. After about 9 to 12 months, the level of radioactivity decays to a very low level and your treatment is complete. The seeds are not removed. Immediately after the procedure you may experience soreness, blood and semen in your urine and possibly a burning sensation when you pass urine.

Talk to your doctor to find out if LDR brachytherapy is the best procedure for you.