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Prostate Cancer Treatment with High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy

February 21, 2020
A man holding a blue ribbon, signifying the fight against prostate cancer

What is prostate cancer?

  1. It Affects Males
  2. Has No Exact Cause
  3. Has No Symptoms During Early Stages
  4. Can Be Treated With HDR Brachytherapy


It’s always important to empower patients with information and proper treatment. This World Cancer Awareness Day, learn more about a type of cancer common amongst males. Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the male prostate gland. Without proper treatment, it could spread to other parts of the body. In order to get prostate cancer treatment, it’s important to learn more about it. Read on!


Prostate Cancer Affects Males

A patient finding out he has prostate cancer

The prostate gland is found below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Found behind these glands are seminal vesicles, which are responsible for making the fluid for semen. Prostate cancer happens when the cells in the prostate gland grow at uncontrollable rates. It is a type of cancer that can grow and spread rapidly, but in most cases, prostate cancer cells grow slowly.

Malignant prostate cancer growth can be a threat to life. It can spread to nearby organs and other parts of the body. This includes the bladder, rectum, lymph nodes, and bones. Malignant growth can be removed, but there is a possibility that it will return without proper treatment.


Prostate Cancer Has No Exact Cause

Close up of a man smoking a cigarette

Prostate cancer has no exact cause, but there are many risks that are associated with it. Age can directly put you at risk especially if you’re over 50 years old. This risk is even more evident if the individual is a smoker and overweight. Your chances of getting prostate cancer from smoking are doubled especially if you’re a chain smoker or a heavy smoker.

Another factor that can put you at risk is your family history. If the men in your family have a history of prostate cancer, you’re most likely to develop it as well. Make sure to assess your health and history with your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis.


Prostate Cancer Has No Symptoms During Early Stages

A man holding his prostate in pain

The difficulty with prostate cancer is that you may experience little to no symptoms during its early stages. However, once the symptoms occur, you may notice a dull pain in the lower pelvic area with a desire to frequently urinate. The constant urination may be coupled with pain, burning, and weak urine flow. Blood in the urine is also something to watch out for. Talk to a specialist immediately once you start experiencing urinary problems to quickly find its root cause.

During the late stages of prostate cancer, you may find it painful to ejaculate. There may also be pain in your lower back, hips, and upper thighs. Another sign of advanced prostate cancer is a loss of appetite and sudden weight loss. A delicate symptom that you need to be careful with is bone pain. If you’re experiencing all of this and more, visit your doctor immediately.

If you think you are having problems with your prostate, it is best to get yourself screened. This can be done through a blood test that measures prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. If you have high PSA levels, it can be a sign that there’s something wrong with your prostate. Another examination to take is a digital rectal examination. Your doctor will ask you to lay on your side and they will check for abnormal shapes or thickness within your prostate. Doing both of these can give you a higher chance of detecting prostate cancer.


Prostate Cancer Can Be Treated With HDR Brachytherapy

A doctor preparing for HDR Brachytherapy

If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy may be a recommended form of treatment. It is a powerful type of radiation therapy that is delivered internally. It can be used alone or combined with the surgical removal of the cancerous tumor. This treatment can eliminate different types of cancer, including cervical, prostate, breast, and skin cancer.

HDR Brachytherapy makes use of around 1 to 20 catheters that are implanted into the tumor. The machine sends radioactive seeds down the catheters to deliver radiation therapy. The treatment lasts for approximately 10-20 minutes. The radioactive seeds are then removed to keep the patient’s body safe from overexposure. Depending on the severity of your cancer, you may need multiple sessions with high-dose rates.

HDR Brachytherapy is extremely precise and is usually pain-free. It minimizes the risk of long-term and short-term side effects as well. This is because the catheters do not pass through any healthy tissue in order to treat the cancerous tumor. Patients can resume normal activity after each treatment is done.


Key Takeaway

This March 2020, the Perpetual Help Medical Center-Las Piñas will launch its very own High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy. With the HOPE Institute and our Dr. Robert P. Dulay Radiation Oncology Center, you’ll get an in-depth prostate cancer treatment plan. Quickly receive a diagnosis and a comprehensive step-by-step approach for your disease in order to help you continue living a healthy life. Our expertly trained staff and world-class facilities will ensure optimal results each time you visit. If you’re in need of the best doctors and top of the line facilities, visit PHMC now!

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