Prostate Brachytherapy is a form of radiation therapy used to treat prostate cancer. Prostate Brachytherapy involves placing devices containing radiation in the prostate gland close to the cancer cells.
The ultimate goal of Prostate Brachytherapy is to place the radiation as close as possible to the cancer cells so that the radiation can kill the cancer cells while causing minimum damage to the healthy tissues that are nearby. If you have early-stage prostate cancer, Dr Singh will recommend the usage of brachytherapy, which may be used alongside other treatments such as external beam radiation or hormone therapy. Prostate Brachytherapy is not recommended for advanced prostate cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes or to distant areas of the body.
There are two types of Prostate Brachytherapy, that being low-dose-rate brachytherapy where seed-like radioactive implants are placed inside your prostate for several months, and high-dose-rate brachytherapy where radioactive material is inserted into your prostate for several minutes.
HDR brachytherapy, also known as high-dose-rate brachytherapy, involves radiation that stays in your body for a few minutes at a time. This procedure is done under spinal and general anaesthesia so that you don't feel anything.
Dr Singh will insert thin tubes through the perineum into your prostate at the site of cancer. The tubes are linked to a machine that provides wires containing radiation into the prostate. The radioactive wires are then left in place for a fixed amount of time, usually several minutes. After the radioactive wires have been removed, the tubes are left in place for repetition of the procedure the following day. Once you have undergone the same treatment twice, the tubes are removed.
After prostate brachytherapy, you may expect to feel some pain and swelling in the perineum. Dr Singh may prescribe medication to relieve the pain. You may resume your normal activities the same day after the procedure but avoid any strenuous activities such as running or activities that may irritate the perineum.