prostate cancer treatment radiation

prostate cancer treatment radiation

Types of Radiation Therapy

What is the safest treatment for prostate cancer?

Which is better for prostate cancer surgery or radiation?

How long does it take to recover from prostate cancer?

Can you ever be cured of prostate cancer?

 

Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer

Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays or particles to kill cancer cells. Depending on the stage of the prostate cancer and other factors, radiation therapy might be used:

  • As the first treatment for cancer that is still just in the prostate gland and is low grade. Cure rates for men with these types of cancers are about the same as those for men treated with radical prostatectomy.
  • As part of the first treatment (along with hormone therapy) for cancers that have grown outside the prostate gland and into nearby tissues.
  • If the cancer is not removed completely or comes back (recurs) in the area of the prostate after surgery.
  • If the cancer is advanced, to help keep the cancer under control for as long as possible and to help prevent or relieve symptoms.

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Types of Radiation Therapy

There are two main types of radiation therapy: external beam radiation (teletherapy) and internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy).

Internal Radiation Therapy (Brachytherapy)

Brachytherapy involves placing radiation sources as close as possible to the tumor site. Sometimes, they may be inserted directly into the tumor. The radioactive sources or isotopes are in the form of wires, seeds (or molds), or rods. This technique is particularly effective in treating cancers of the cervix, uterus, vagina, rectum, eye, and certain head and neck cancers. It is also occasionally used to treat cancers of the breast, brain, skin, anus, esophagus, lung, bladder, and prostate.

External Beam Radiation Therapy,EBRT (Teletherapy)

External beam radiation therapy is radiation delivered from a distant source, from outside the body and directed at the patient's cancer site. Systems which produce different types of radiation for external beam therapy include orthovoltage x-ray machines, Cobalt-60 machines, linear accelerators, proton beam machines, and neutron beam machines. A radiation oncologist makes decisions regarding the type of system that is best suited to treat a specific cancer patient. External beam therapy is the radiation therapy treatment option used for most cancer patients. It is used to treat many types of tumors including cancers of the head and neck area, breast, lung, colon, and prostate.

External beam therapy is painless. Most patients do not need to stay in the hospital while they are having external beam therapy. Patients do not see or feel the actual treatment. Many patients can go home following each treatment, and most patients can even continue with their normal daily activities. Sources of external beam radiation may include, but are not limited to: X-ray, cobalt, linear accelerator, neutron beam, betatron, spray radiation, stereotactic radiosurgery such as gamma knife, and proton beam.

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What is the safest treatment for prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is most often found in early stages. When it is found early, there are a number of treatment choices available. Active surveillance, surgery, and radiation therapy are the standard therapy choices for men with early-stage prostate cancer. On Friday, 5/15/20, the FDA approved rucaparib, a new medication to treat some patients with advanced prostate cancer. Then, on Tuesday, 5/19/20, olaparib was approved by the FDA for certain metastatic prostate cancers that are not responsive to hormone therapy.

Which is better for prostate cancer surgery or radiation?

Surgery is a treatment choice for men with early-stage prostate cancer who are in good health and Radiation may be a better choice for men who want to avoid the side effects of surgery, such as leaking urine and erection problems. It may be a better choice for men who have other health problems that make surgery too risky. You avoid the risks of major surgery.
Men with localised prostate cancer who are treated with external-beam radiation therapy have a cure rate of 95.5% for intermediate-risk prostate cancer and 91.3% for high-risk prostate cancer. The 5-year survival rate using this treatment is 98.8% overall.

How long does it take to recover from prostate cancer?

At the hospital: You should expect to be in the hospital for one night. At Johns Hopkins, all rooms on the urology floor are private. Here, nurses help patients get moving shortly after surgery to prevent blood clots and other postoperative risks.

First few days at home: After you’re sent home, you might find that regular ibuprofen or acetaminophen will be sufficient pain management for the first few days. If over-the-counter medications aren’t enough, your doctor can help you with alternatives.

One week after surgery: After your surgery site heals, your catheter will be removed. This is usually seven to 10 days after surgery. This can easily be done at your doctor’s office. Some people decide to take out their catheter at home. If that’s the case, ask your doctor for instructions first.

This is also about the time your surgeon will call you with the final pathology results. He or she will discuss what you should know and whether further treatment is necessary. (Many men do not need any more treatment.)

One month after surgery: Doctors recommend no strenuous activity or heavy lifting for at least one month after surgery. Most people take off work for three to four weeks. If you work from home, you could return to work sooner.

By one month after surgery, your life should start getting back to normal. Some men experience side effects, including:

  • Urinary incontinence (urine leaking)
  • Erectile dysfunction

Recovery from surgery takes time. These side effects are often temporary. However, if they are affecting your quality of life, ask your doctor about options that can help.

Can you ever be cured of prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer can be cured, when detected and treated early. The vast majority of prostate cancer cases (more than 90 percent) are discovered in the early stages, making the tumors more likely to respond to treatment. Treatment doesn't always have to mean surgery or chemotherapy, either.Stage 4 prostate cancer is an uncommon diagnosis. Most often, prostate cancer is diagnosed at an earlier stage, when the cancer is confined to the prostate.

Treatments may slow or shrink an advanced prostate cancer, but for most men, stage 4 prostate cancer isn't curable. Still, treatments can extend your life and reduce the signs and symptoms of cancer.

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10 common question about prostate cancer treatment radiation

1What is the success rate of radiation therapy for prostate cancer?
Radiation Therapy 95% Effective for Prostate Cancer Men with localised prostate cancer who are treated with external-beam radiation therapy have a cure rate of 95.5% for intermediate-risk prostate cancer and 91.3% for high-risk prostate cancer. The 5-year survival rate using this treatment is 98.8% overall.
2Can prostate cancer be cured with radiation?
Treatment for Prostate Cancer: External-Beam Radiation Therapy. If you have localized prostate cancer that needs curative treatment, you have two good options: Radiation and surgery. ... More than 60,000 American men opt for radiation every year, and the cure rates are excellent.
3How long do you need radiation therapy for prostate cancer?
How Long Does Radiation Treatment Take? External beam radiation therapy is given to you five days a week for four to eight weeks. The total dose of radiation and the number of treatments you need depends on the size of your prostate cancer, your general health, and other medical treatments you have had or need to have.
4What are the long term effects of radiation treatment for prostate cancer?
Long-term Complications These may include proctitis (rectal inflammation), cystitis (bladder inflammation), urinary or rectal bleeding, narrowing of the rectum or urethra, chronic diarrhea or urinary frequency or urgency, or development of an ulcer in the rectum. All of these can be treated.
5Can prostate cancer come back after radiation?
A recurrence means that the prostate cancer has not been cured by the initial treatment. ... After radiation therapy, PSA levels usually drop to a stable and low level. If PSA levels begin to rise at any time after treatment, a local or distant recurrence may be occurring, requiring additional testing.
6Is Radiation better than surgery for prostate cancer?
Radiation therapy or surgery may be used to treat your prostate cancer. ... Radiation therapy is more likely to cause bowel problems. Surgery is more likely to cause leaking urine or erection problems. If your goal is to treat the cancer by having your prostate removed, then you may want to choose surgery.
7Does radiation destroy the prostate?
Since radiation therapy does not destroy the entire prostate gland, the PSA falls slowly and only rarely to undetectable levels.
8What is the best radiation treatment for prostate cancer?
April 16, 2012 -- The most popular form of radiation therapy for prostate cancer may also be the best, a new comparison study finds. Nearly all men with prostate cancer who opt for external beam radiation get a treatment called intensity-modulated radiation therapy or IMRT.
9What does a Gleason score of 7 mean in prostate cancer?
The lowest Gleason Score of a cancer found on a prostate biopsy is 6. ... These cancers tend to be aggressive, meaning they are likely to grow and spread more quickly. Cancers with a Gleason Score of 7 may be called moderately differentiated or intermediate grade.
10What happens after radiation for prostate cancer?
After completing external beam radiation therapy (EBRT), urinary and bowel side effects may persist for two to six weeks, but they will improve over time. You may need to continue some medications. Some patients report continued, though lessening fatigue for several weeks after treatment.

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