The prostate is a walnut-sized gland surrounding the bottom of the bladder in men, which secretes a fluid that helps to form semen. Prostate of the cancer is the most common cancer found in American men other than skin cancer. There can be few or no symptoms, thereby stressing the importance of screenings.
In treating prostate cancer, the challenge is to kill malignant cells while minimizing damage to surrounding, healthy tissue. Holy Name Medical Center's Regional Cancer may use Intensity modulated radiation therapy, or IMRT, a precision tool to treat prostate cancer. IMRT is used to treat several cancers including prostate, head and neck.
A significant breakthrough in cancer treatment, IMRT sculpts pencil-thin beams of high-energy radiation to the exact shape, thickness and size of the tumor. It allows cancer specialists to attack the tumor with a higher dose of radiation while avoiding nearby organs and healthy tissue. It is often used in conjunction with High dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy, a computer-driven method allowing placement of a radiation source, or "seed", directly into a cancerous area.
Radioactive seeds offer cure for prostate cancer.
One of the three most recommended treatments for prostate cancer is called high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy-a procedure in which radioactive seeds are implanted in the prostate. The seeds provide a higher dose of radiation to a very defined area, sparing healthy tissue.
HDR brachytherapy offers the ability to deliver a conformal high dose of radiation over a short period of time, without the need for a traditional permanent radioactive implant. As a result, patients are not radioactive upon discharge and, for selected patients, a complete course of radiation therapy can be delivered in 36 hours, all with a precise and accurate plan guided by the use of a 64-slice CT scan.
"Side effects are usually minimal," adds Dr. Benjamin Rosenbluth, Holy Name Medical Center radiation oncologist, "and usually disappear a month or two after treatment."
Although the stage of the tumor and age of the patient play into the outcome, according to Dr. Rosenbluth, "studies have found equivalent efficacy and decreased side effects compared with older treatment approaches."
Holy Name Medical Center radiation oncologists and other radiation therapists are highly-qualified to utilize the sophisticated equipment with more than 5 years of experience under their belts.
Prostate Cancer Fast Facts:
- Age is the most common risk factor-chances increase rapidly after age 50.
- Race can elevate risk-African American men have a higher risk.
- High fat diets can increase risk-more fat means more of a chance of prostate cancer.
- Family history contributes-the risk rises with the number of close relatives who have the disease.
- Urinary dysfunction can be a symptom-a weak or interrupted flow, unexplained frequency, trouble starting and stopping, and pain or blood during urination could be symptoms of prostate cancer.
- Get examined and your PSA level tested annually-Prostate Specific Antigen is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. This test measures the levels in the blood. Higher levels can be a marker of prostate cancer.
The Regional Cancer Center
At Holy Name Medical Center