Radioactive Seed Implantation
Since 2000, Trinity Cancer Center has offered radioactive seed implantation as a treatment for prostate cancer. Traditionally, men with localized prostate cancer had two treatment options, a radical prostatectomy or external beam radiation therapy. At Trinity, more than 350 men have taken advantage of this new therapy and its potential for fewer complications.
Radiation seed implantation is a form of internal radiation. Tiny titanium canisters called "seeds" that carry a radioisotope are implanted into the prostate. The seeds provide a low energy, continuous, radiation of the cancer. With the dose of radiation concentrated in the prostate, surrounding tissues receive less radiation exposure than with traditional treatment.
Eligibility for this treatment is carefully considered by the patient's urologist and radiation oncologist. Some of the considerations are the size of the prostate, the aggressiveness of the tumor, PSA level, the patient's medical history, and quality of life issues. In some cases, radioactive seed implantation is combined with external beam radiation therapy to treat the cancer.
The seed implantation is done on a same-day-surgery visit without an overnight hospital stay.
After the implantation, common side effects include a sensation of urinary urgency and burning that usually resolves. The long-term side effects of urine incontinence and impotence occur infrequently with seed implantation.
Follow up remission and survival rates for prostate cancer patients receiving radioactive seed implantation is comparable to surgery and/or external beam radiation therapy. For many men with localized prostate cancer, radioactive seed implantation is a welcomed alternative therapy.
For more information on radiation treatment for prostate cancer call:
Dan Moore, RN
Radiation Therapy Nurse