Prostate cancer remains the most common cancer diagnosis for men. Prostate cancer develops when abnormal cells in the prostate gland grow more quickly than in a normal prostate forming a malignant tumour.
It is this increase in prostate size which often results in the following symptoms being experienced:
- Increased frequency or difficulty urinating
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Blood in the urine or semen
Early prostate cancer, however rarely cause such symptoms and PSA screening may provide detection in such cases. Please consult your doctor about an appropriate screening program.
The following are common treatment options for a diagnosis of prostate cancer:
- External beam radiation therapy
- Brachytherapy (Low dose rate and high dose rate)
- Hormone therapy
- Surveillance (Watch & Wait)
These options are may be used in conjunction with each other depending on the individual patient case, specialist opinion and patient preference.
There are a number of radiation treatment options for prostate cancer, both external beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy (both high dose rate & low dose rate).
External Beam Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer
Radiation treatment for prostate cancer is routinely delivered either as the primary treatment option or in follow up to surgery to provide microscopic disease control.
At Genesis CancerCare Queensland the standard external beam radiation therapy technique used to treat prostate cancer is Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) or Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (RapidArc). Both treatment approaches allow for more precise delivery of a higher radiation dose, whilst reducing doses to nearby normal tissue. This translates into higher treatment efficacy and reduced chance of side effects.
Brachytherapy for Prostate Cancer
Prostate brachytherapy involves the delivery of radiation from within the prostate by one of two methods:
- High Dose Rate (HDR): catheters are temporarily inserted into the prostate and a single radioactive source stops in planned positions throughout the gland to distribute the required radiation dose.
- Low Dose Rate (LDR): radioactive seeds are implanted permanently into the prostate and deliver the required radiation dose over a period of several months. After which time the radioactivity of the seeds becomes negligible leaving them inert inside the prostate.
For certain patients both external beam radiation therapy and high dose rate brachytherapy may be recommended.
External beam radiation therapy services for prostate cancer are available at the all Genesis CancerCare Queensland centres.
Brachytherapy services are available at:
- Gold Coast (Tugun) Low dose rate brachytherapy only
- Brisbane (Wesley) High dose rate & Low dose rate brachytherapy
For Cancer support, education and resources head to our Quick links page.