Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer
Radiation therapy is one of the most commonly used methods for treating prostate cancer. Targeted radiation can slow the growth of cancer cells and destroy them. The highly skilled radiation oncologists at Maimonides Prostate Center have deep expertise with a range of radiation therapies. We work with you to select the best option for your specific situation.
Types of Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer
Depending on your diagnosis, your doctor may recommend combining radiation therapy with other prostate cancer treatments.
We offer several different radiation treatments, including:
Brachytherapy (internal radiation)
Brachytherapy is a form of internal radiation that involves placing radioactive material directly into the prostate. Your team works with you to determine whether brachytherapy provides a good option, and which form is right for you:
- Permanent, low-dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy: This procedure involves placing small radioactive seeds (about the size of a grain of rice) into the prostate. The seeds provide low doses of radiation over several weeks until they become inactive. The inactive seeds remain in place indefinitely and do not need to be removed.
- Temporary, high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy: Your doctor uses catheters (thin, hollow tubes) to deliver powerful radioactive materials directly to the tumor. Treatment typically is spread over two to three days. At the end of each treatment, your doctor removes the radioactive material, leaving the catheters in place until the final dose.
External beam radiation therapy (EBRT)
Maimonides has the latest linear accelerator to precisely deliver external radiation beams to prostate tumors. If you had an MRI-fusion guided biopsy, your doctor may rely on implanted markers to target the treatment area. Your doctor also may use positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) scans. These combined techniques ensure exact delivery of radiation while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. Learn more about radiation therapy, including the external types offered for prostate cancer:
- 3D conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT)
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
- Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
Maimonides was the first center in Brooklyn to offer Xofigo®. This injectable form of radiation (radium) targets advanced prostate cancer that has spread to bones. Studies suggest these injections may extend life expectancy by more than 30 percent.
Your doctor may recommend Xofigo if surgery, hormone therapy or other treatment fails to lower your levels of testosterone, a hormone that fuels prostate cancer growth.
We also offer an injectable radioactive drug that relieves bone pain caused by cancer.
Radiation Therapy Side Effects
Radiation treatments may cause short- or long-term problems. Our dedicated team of specialists works with you to manage prostate cancer treatment side effects. Following radiation therapy, you may experience:
- Urinary incontinence
- Erectile dysfunction
- Rectal irritation
- Gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation, diarrhea or frequent bowel movements
To make an appointment at the Maimonides Prostate Center, call 718-635-PROS (7767) or request an appointment online.