Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ's

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No. Seed implantation is primarily used when the cancer is diagnosed early and has not spread beyond the prostate. These factors usually result in a 98% cure rate and allow the patient to maintain his lifestyle following treatment.
Radioactive implant seeds give off low energy radiation that only travels for a very short distance. So if the implant seeds are strategically placed, it is possible to minimize the damage to the normal body tissues in the rectum, bladder, urethra and erectile mechanism. External Beam Radiation is more powerful and has to pass through more normal tissues to get to the tumor.
A good candidate for prostate seed implantation is an informed patient with localized, non-metastatic prostate cancer who has evaluated all the treatment options. Not all patients are candidates for Brachytherapy. The patient and his family should discuss the treatments openly and balance the pros and cons of cure and the personal quality of life expected with treatment. The patient enters treatment with realistic expectations. An occasional patient needs additional treatment using surgery, hormones, or external beam radiation.
If you think about the way that ripples extend concentrically from a pebble tossed in a pond, you can imagine how the radiation extends out from each implant seed. The seeds are strategically placed so that the waves of each seed interact with the waves of other seeds in the manner that gives the optimal dose of radiation to the prostate cancer while minimizing the radiation dose to the normal body tissue and organs.
The radiation kills the cancer cells by causing damage to the genetic material (DNA) within the cells. The destruction occurs when these injured cells attempt to reproduce by the process of cell division (mitosis). They self-destruct, die and are eliminated by the normal body mechanism that eliminates dead cells (apoptosis). The idea is to give a high enough radiation dose to destroy the reproductive capabilities of every last cancer cell.
Normal cells of the tissues and organs that receive the radiation dose from the prostate seed implant can be irritated or injured. It is the damage to the normal body tissues and organs that causes the side effects of the treatment.

Fortunately, prostate seed implants irritate and injure less normal cells than external beam radiation does.  Normal cells usually repair the damage within a few months and many of the temporary side effects one experiences fades within a few weeks of treatment.

Some of the side effects from radiation therapy (either external beam radiotherapy or prostate seed implant therapy) will occur within days or weeks of the treatment and are called acute side effects. Other side effects, known as late side effects, may not appear for six months or years after the
No. Most people are comfortable after the procedure and usually acetaminophen (ie:Tylenol) or ibuprofen is all that is necessary to alleviate any discomfort. Most people return to an active lifestyle within a few days.
Doctors with experience usually have better results. As shown in the literature, a minimum of 100 procedures is required to achieve this level of experience .