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Prostate Cancer
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Migratory Seeds after Prostate Cancer Brachytherapy

Migratory seeds are common in permanent low dose brachytherapy patients. The prostate gland may be treated with 60 to 130 seeds that will irradiate the organ with concentrated doses of radiation. While the technique and equipment for brachytherapy has advanced in recent years, seed migration is not uncommon. Seeds most commonly migrate out of the prostate gland and exit the body through the urethra with the urine or ejaculate. Men who find that a seed has left their body urination and can retrieve the seed should by using tweezers to pick the seed up and place it in aluminum foil. Those who accidentally flush a seed down the toilet do not need to call their municipal waste management services. A radioactive seed is much to small to endanger a municipality by contaminating the water. Men who undergo prostate brachytherapy are encouraged to wear condoms to protect their partners from seeds that might exit the body during ejaculation. There are also rare cases where a radioactive seed may migrate to the lung. There is no evidence that can conclude that this type of migration poses any threat to the patient’s health. Also new advances in brachytherapy technology, such as stranded seeds, are helping to reduce migration.




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