Prostate cancer is considered one of the most common cancers among US men. For treating this problem, radiation therapy for prostate cancer is highly considered.
Cancer is caused due to the excess growth of cells inside our body. When this cancer starts developing in the prostate, it is known as prostate cancer. Except for skin cancer, this cancer is most common without a doubt.
But the question is, why should you use radiation therapy for prostate cancer? Well, radiation therapy has higher effectiveness than other treatment methods. Besides, it’s not painful, which is a positive sign for choosing it. So, what are the different types of radiation therapy for prostate cancer? And when is it best to use radiation therapy (RT)?
University Cancer Centers have been providing the most quality treatment methods for cancer for a long time in the US. If you know someone who is suffering from cancer, contact us.
In this blog, we will discuss when radiation therapy for prostate cancer is used and the different types of RT. We will also learn the side effects that can occur due to these various RTs.
Radiation Therapy For Prostate Cancer
High energy rays are used in radiation therapy to eliminate cancer cells. Based on the prostate cancer stage and various factors, radiation therapy for prostate cancer can be used:
- Radiation therapy can be used during the first treatment of cancer located in the prostate gland and low in grade.
- Along with hormone therapy, you can use it as the first treatment for cancer that has spread from the prostate gland to the nearby tissues.
- In case of cancer still exists or comes back after surgery in the prostate area.
- When cancer is advanced, RT can assist with managing cancer and preventing the symptoms caused by prostate cancer.
The Types Of Radiation Therapy For Prostate Cancer
There are various types of radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Here, we have included the most common one. They are as follows:
1. External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT)
One of the most common types of RT and doesn’t cause any pain. Before the treatment starts, the radiation team will use your CT and MRI scans to locate the position of the prostate and tumor cells.
X-ray beams will be targeted toward the marked cancer areas during every treatment session. Oncologists manage the intensity of radiation beams and doses to maximize the radiation therapy results.
2. Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
A sophisticated form of EBR that gets delivered with the help of linear accelerators. The oncologist manages the intensity and shape of the radiation beam to maximize the therapy outcomes. There are fewer chances of damaging surrounding tissue when you use this type of radiation therapy for prostate cancer.
This radiation therapy for prostate cancer is also called seed implantation, internal radiation therapy, or interstitial radiation therapy. Tiny seeds get inserted into the prostate by using needles for permanent brachytherapy. These needles enter the skin right behind the scrotum.
These seeds produce radiation that eradicates the cancer cells present in the prostate. The remaining seed doesn’t harm your body as it is made of titanium. You can run CT or MRI scans to confirm that the seed is placed at the correct location.
4. Proton Beam Therapy
Proton therapy is also regarded as an alternative to EBRT. This radiation therapy for prostate cancer is getting more common now with the availability of more specialized equipped centers. This process has surely evolved with time from passive scattering to scanning proton beam therapy.
As per current evidence, this therapy is as effective as other radiation therapy for prostate cancer.
The Side Effects Of Radiation Therapy For Prostate Cancer
There are a few side effects of radiation therapy for prostate cancer, like diarrhea and passing urine regularly.
These side effects often occur after one or two weeks of starting RT. The symptoms can worsen during treatment and after the treatment ends. But you can feel relief after two weeks of treatment.
The side effects that occur in one person may not come in another person. They can vary from person to person. The possible side effects of radiation therapy for prostate cancer are as follows:
1. Weakness And Tiredness
There are chances that a person may feel tired while in the treatment process. This symptom can worsen as treatment continues.
Tiredness can lead to weakness and lack of energy. It is recommended that you take a proper amount of rest.
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Tiredness can last a few weeks after the treatment ends, but you will see improvement with time.
You can find many ways by which you can reduce tiredness, and one of them is exercise. You gain more energy by doing light exercise, but remember to balance it with resting.
2. Sore Skin In The Area Of Treatment
The treatment area skin can get sore, redden, or darken. To avoid this, you can follow the tips mentioned below:
- Try wearing loose-fitting clothes and undergarments.
- Gently wash the treatment area daily with mild warm or cool water.
- Make the skin dry using a soft towel. Try not to rub as it can make the skin sore.
- Avoid using perfumed lotions in the area of impact. Only use the recommended cream and dressings by doctors.
- Try not to use talcum powder as it comes with metal particles. Soreness can get worse with it.
3. Public Hair Loss
Radiation therapy for prostate cancer can cause hair loss in the area of treatment. This hair loss is sometimes patchy instead of a complete loss.
You don’t have to worry, as the hair can grow back with time. It takes a few months for complete hair growth in the treatment area.
4. Problems Related To Urination
Radiation therapy for prostate cancer may cause urination problems. You may feel:
- A feeling of passing urine frequently.
- As if you have an infection related to the bladder, such as cystitis.
- Burning pain while urinating.
- A weak urine flow.
Drink a sufficient amount of water to fight this symptom. You can feel relief from this problem after a few weeks of treatment.
Consult with your doctor if you suffer from diarrhea after radiation therapy. They will guide you over the best medicine to get relief from this issue.
Try drinking a sufficient amount of water so that you can stay hydrated.
Possible Long-Term Side Effects Of Radiation Therapy For Prostate Cancer
Most of the side effects vanish within a few weeks and months. However, there are few side effects that can continue for a long time or start after a few years. An example of such a long-term side effect is the problem of getting an erection.
Prostate cancer is common among men, and various treatment methods exist to cure it. There are some possible side effects of radiation therapy for prostate cancer, but they get mild with time.
Finding the best place for your prostate cancer treatment? University Cancer Centers provide all types of treatment available for curing cancers. Our radiotherapy is considered one of the most effective methods to cure prostate cancer. You can contact us on our website if you have doubts about our treatment method. We offer contact services from Monday to Friday, 10 AM to 5 PM. Want a complete recovery from cancer? Start with us!