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Radiotherapy treatment for Prostate Cancer


Prostate brachytherapy (internal or interstitial radiotherapy) is a form of radiotherapy where the radiation dose is delivered inside the prostate gland to treat prostate cancer with the intention of curing it.


 The idea behind this method is to deliver a high dose of radiation to the prostate while minimising damage to other tissues.


What does the procedure involve?

This procedure is performed either under general anaesthetic or spinal epidural anaesthesia.


There are two different types of prostate brachytherapy:


  • High Dose Rate (HDR) temporary brachytherapy implants

 It is performed under general anaesthesia. During the procedure, thin tubes are inserted into your prostate gland. An individualised treatment plan is made using ultrasound scans to determine the radiation dose required to treat your cancer. When the tubes are in the correct position, they are connected to a machine which will deliver the radiation to your cancer. 

The treatment normally takes about 20 minutes to deliver. When the treatment has been completed, the tubes are disconnected from the machine and then removed from your prostate. No radiation is left inside your body.


  • Low Dose Rate (LDR) permanent seed brachytherapy

LDR brachytherapy is a technique to treat prostate cancer using a low-dose rate source of radiation that is inserted into your prostate and left there. LDR treatments are normally performed in the morning as a day case. 


Each radiation source is very small, about the size of a grain of rice. The seeds stay in your prostate giving your cancer the required dose of radiation over a period of months. The radiation only treats your prostate cancer and does NOT have any effect on the rest of your body. The seeds release most of their radiation over the first few months after being inserted.


After the brachytherapy procedure, the patients may need to stay in the hospital for a night following the treatment.