Examples of Brachytherapy
- High dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy for lung, breast and gynecologic cancers
- Prostate seed implants
- Brachytherapy for eye tumors
What Is High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy?
What Are Prostate Seed Implants?
Prostate seed implants are used to treat localized prostate cancer. A Urologist and Radiation Oncologist perform the procedure together. With this procedure, between 70 and 150 radioactive seeds (each about the size of a grain of rice) are implanted in the prostate gland. This technique allows higher doses of radiation to be delivered to the tumor site while limiting dose to surrounding normal tissues.
Before treatment, an ultrasound is performed to ensure that the prostate is not obstructed and is within the appropriate size range for implantation. This scan also assists the radiation oncologist in determining how many seeds are needed and where to place them. The actual implant procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, under general anesthesia and with ultrasound guidance. The patient is usually able to return to normal activity within 48 hours, although he may continue to have soreness and urinary symptoms for some time afterward.