High-Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy is an innovative form of internal radiation therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer. It can be used alone or in combination with external beam radiation therapy. HDR brachytherapy is used to treat patients in the early stages of prostate cancer. This technique may be used an alternative to a surgical procedure called radical prostatectomy.
Because of the location of the prostate gland, it is necessary for radiation therapy to be highly focused so as to avoid possible damage to the urethra and surrounding healthy tissues, which can sometimes cause incontinence or impotence. HDR brachytherapy is a precise method for delivering radiation treatment to prostate cancer patients. The radiation is delivered directly into the tumor, giving the patient a maximum dose of radiation while minimizing exposure to the surrounding organs and tissues.
To begin this treatment, catheters are placed into the prostate using ultrasound image guidance. The use of image guidance enables the radiation oncologist to deliver a precise dose of radiation directly to the prostate gland. There are usually two brief treatments delivered to the patient and the radioactive source is removed each time. Once complete, the catheters are removed and no radiation is left in the body.
For more advanced prostate cancers, HDR brachytherapy is often combined with external beam radiation. Since there is no incision or surgical wound to heal, patients generally recover very quickly. However, they may experience some temporary pain and swelling in the area where the catheters were inserted.
Only your team of urologists and radiation oncologists will be able to determine if HDR brachytherapy will be an effective treatment option for you. In the Pinehurst, NC area the Cancer Center has been offering HDR brachytherapy as a component of a wide variety of treatment options for those patients diagnosed with prostate cancer since 2003 and has the largest HDR prostate treatment program in the state.
October 11, 2017
FirstHealth Joins Nation in Highlighting Breast Cancer AwarenessSushma Patel, M.D. PINEHURST – According to the American Cancer Society, there is no sure way to prevent breast cancer. But there are things a woman…
September 19, 2017
Stand Together & Drink Pink 2017Register in the form provided to host your Drink Pink lemonade stand. To learn more about the Stand Together & Drink Pink campaign, click here. To ac…
July 18, 2017
FirstHealth Continues Cancer-Related Insomnia Study with Second Clinical TrialEllen Willard, M.D. PINEHURST – Certain medications, anxiety and “fear of the unknown” are known to contribute to the insomnia that cancer patients e…
May 31, 2018
31st Annual National Cancer Survivors DayNational Cancer Survivors Day is a time to come together and share smiles and victories. Join us in our celebration of life and triumph over cancer!…