Nuclear Medicine Specialist Questions Prostate Cancer

Using radiation with prostate cancer

My uncle has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He is 75 and his PSA is 7.2. One of the treatment options he was given is radation therapy. He said something about "seeds". What are these? How is that radiation treatment?

3 Answers

Radioactive seeds are placed into the prostate gland where the emit their radiation. They remain in the gland after the radiation if finished. If possible, a better option might be IMRT or directed radiation to the prostate from an external beam. This requires up to 30 visits for treatments. Side effects include those related to colon and bladder. He should also have a baseline bone scan.
The 'seeds' are polymers that are implanted into the prostate. They contain
the radiation that irradiated the prostrate tissue over time.
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I am sorry to hear about your uncle's diagnosis.
The treatemnt advised is 'Brachytherapy', where tiny radioactive seeds will be placed / inserted within the prostate tissue by the specialist. So, this is a type of 'internal' radiation treatment. These seeds will deliver radiation to the cancer tissue whilst being placed within the prostate. The procedure can be temporary (giving higher dose of radiation over shorter duration) or permanent (giving low radiation doses over a longer period of time). This type of treatment is usually advised in cases of not very aggressively spreading cancers.