Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men. In America, it is estimated that one in every six men will get this disease in his lifetime. The good news is this type of cancer is very manageable and even curable. Unlike other type of cancers, more than 99% of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer usually live more than 5 years after diagnosis.
Surgery and radiotherapy for prostate cancer are both recommended and effective methods for treating this type of cancer. It is therefore advisable that you review all of your options before deciding which treatment is best for you. Talk to your radiation oncologist about radiotherapy and your urologist about surgery. It’s in your best interest that you learn more about the benefits and the risks involved in both procedures.
Radiotherapy for prostate cancer uses a steam of particles of high energy x-rays also known as protons. The principle applied here is that when radiation is used at high doses, it can destroy the abnormal cells. Each radiation treatments will always be accompanied by some injuries and dead cancer cells. Each treatment is important as it get rid of some of the cancer cells. During this procedure, patients will only hear the electrical noise and see warning lights but they won’t feel anything about the radiation.
Radiotherapy requires regular sessions (about five days in a week) for a period of about nine or eight weeks. Before the start of the procedure, your therapist will help you to lie down on the treatment table and into the right position. Once your therapist is satisfied that you are positioned well, he/she will leave the room and start the treatment process. The good news is you will be under observation at all times during this procedure. The therapist will always see and hear you since there are cameras and intercom in the treatment room.
It is always important to remain still and relaxed during this procedure. If you need something or feel uncomfortable notify the therapist immediately. He or she will always be moving in and out of the treatment room to reposition you and change the position of the machine as well. Remember, you must be positioned well during this treatment. Port films are there to make sure that you are being positioned correctly during your treatment.
Radiotherapy is important as it helps patients to relieve their symptoms for some months and improve their day to day lives. The procedure also destroys cancer cells and slows down their growth. This helps make the bones of the patients stronger and healthy. The good thing about this procedure is that it works quickly. The patients are expected to have some pain relief after some few weeks. This means that you might be able to reduce the dose of any
pain relieving medications that you are taking.
Just like any other type of treatment, radiotherapy for prostate cancer might cause some few side effects. You might experience some changes in the area that is exposed to radiation. Your skin may become swollen, sensitive, warm or red. Depending on the amount of radiation that you receive, you may also experience hair loss.
The bottom line is that radiotherapy destroys cancer cells and limits their growth. If you or your loved one is diagnosed with prostate cancer, radiotherapy is highly recommended.