Precise radiation therapy
Advances in technology have given radiation oncologists and technicians the ability to pinpoint prostate cancer and avoid or minimize damage to surrounding healthy tissue during radiation treatment.
Radiation therapy is an option for men with prostate cancer at any stage. Men with early stage prostate cancer may choose radiation therapy instead of surgery. It can also be used after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that remain in the area. Men with prostate cancer in later stages can benefit from radiation treatment to relieve pain.
Before treatment, your radiation oncologist will use CT simulation to map the precise location of the prostate, which makes it possible for the doctor to specify which area to treat and areas to avoid.
We are the only cancer center in the region to offer stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for prostate cancer. SBRT kills prostate cancer cells while minimizing exposure to surrounding, healthy tissue by using advanced imaging techniques to deliver a high dose of radiation that is directed to a tumor with millimeter precision.
Traditionally, patients with localized prostate cancer would undergo surgery or eight to nine weeks of radiation therapy. For prostate cancer patients who meet specific criteria and have appropriate indications, SBRT is administered in five sessions, as opposed to 45.
SBRT is a promising option for patients who have early-stage prostate cancer. This technology may also be used to treat medically inoperable tumors or tumors that have recurred after previous radiation treatments.
Prostate cancer treatment planning
Our team of prostate cancer experts plays a vital role in planning your treatment.
Our medical dosimetrist is highly skilled and trained to understand how radiation oncology treatment machines and equipment work and have the expertise needed to generate radiation dose distributions and dose calculations in collaboration with our medical physicists and your radiation oncologist.
We have three physicists who oversee the technical aspects of your radiation therapy and who supervise quality assurance and radiation safety procedures by checking each radiation plan and running it through a series of safety checks before our radiation therapists administer the radiation treatments.
Possible side effects
With today’s advanced techniques, the side effects of radiation treatment are usually minimal and will recede.
Patients don’t feel anything during treatment, and because there are no immediate side effects patients are able to drive to and from their treatment sessions.
Side effects happen over the course of a few weeks, and the extent depends on the individual and the area being treated.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer, the best approach is to take your time to educate yourself. Big decisions deserve a second opinion.