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Prostate Cancer
Treatment Guide™

Experts in Treating Prostate Cancer
Treatment
Description
Prostate Cancer
Patient Profile
Prostate Cancer
Treatments
Prostate Cancer
Survival Rates
Prostate Cancer
Side Effects

Radiation
Therapy

Prostate Radiation Therapy

EBRT or electron beam radiation therapy aims external radiation at prostate cancer cells. Prostate Radiation
Therapy

EBRT or electron beam radiation therapy aims external radiation at prostate cancer cells.

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Using Radiation Therapy

Focused versions of EBRT -IMRT and 3D-CRT - are more effective on a small area. IMRT delivers radiation from multiple angles and at higher doses. Using Radiation Therapy

Focused versions of EBRT -IMRT and 3D-CRT - are more effective on a small area. IMRT delivers radiation from multiple angles and at higher doses.

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Radiation Treatment

Radiation therapy generally requires 5 treatments per week over 6-8 weeks. Radiation Treatment

Radiation therapy generally requires 5 treatments per week over 6-8 weeks.

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External Radiation Outcomes

Multiple long- and short-term studies indicate success rates over 85% especially when used with other therapies. External Radiation
Outcomes

Multiple long- and short-term studies indicate success rates over 85% especially when used with other therapies.

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Radiation
Side Effects

May include tiredness, diarrhea, skin irritation, upset stomach, frequent or burning urination, and proctitis. Radiation
Side Effects

May include tiredness, diarrhea, skin irritation, upset stomach, frequent or burning urination, and proctitis.

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Brachytherapy

Chemotherapy

Cryotherapy & Cryosurgery

Hormone
Therapy

Prostatectomy

Robotic Prostatectomy

Watchful
Waiting

Complementary
and
Alternative Medicine

High Intensity
Focused
Ultrasound (HIFU)

Emerging Technologies

 

External Radiation Therapy

External beam radiation therapy is the common therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer. External beam radiation has been in use since the mid 20th century. A carefully focused beam delivers concentrated levels of radioactive energy to the prostate cancer. Radiation damages the genetic material of the cells, so when cells try to divide, they die. Because cancer cells divide more quickly than healthy cells, cancerous tissue is more susceptible to damage from radiation. External beam radiation is non-invasive and may be appropriate for patients who do not wish to undergo a more invasive procedure.

External beam radiation can also be called fractionated radiation, meaning that small doses are given over a long period of time. Patients receive radiation therapy once a day, Monday through Friday over 5-9 weeks, depending on the patient. Normal prostate cells can repair the damage of a small amount of radiation fairly quickly. Cancerous cells cannot. Receiving a small dose everyday helps to minimize the damage sustained by the healthy cells of the surrounding organs. Giving patients the weekend off helps their body to recover enough to withstand the next five days of treatment.


Photons, Protons, and Neutrons
There are three times of radiation used in external beam therapy: photons, protons, and neutrons. Photons are particles that have no charge and no significant mass. Protons and neutrons are subatomic particles that compose the nuclei of atoms.

Photons are x-rays. The x-rays used to take images of bones are much weaker than the ones used for external beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer. The photons are generated in waves by a linear accelerator. As waves enter the body of the patient, the photons deposit their energy, increasing in power exponentially as they pass through tissue. 3D-CRT or 3-Dimensional-conformal Radiation Therapy and IMRT or Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy both use photons.

Protons deposit their energy into tissue only as they begin to slow down. Radiologists can also calculate how far a proton of a certain energy can travel before it begins to slow down. A radiologist therefore can position the beam depth to deposit energy only in the cancerous tissue.

Protons are rarely used to treat prostate cancer alone. Usually, weeks of proton therapy are used with weeks of photon therapy. A patient may begin with a standard treatment for 5 weeks then switch to protons aimed specifically at the prostate for the next 2-3 weeks. Neutrons are not used in therapy very often. Recent studies suggest that those who have undergone therapy with neutrons have a greater incidence of side effects.

 
 

 
 
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