Internal and External Radiation Therapy For Prostate Cancer

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Prostate cancer, being one of the common cancers that happen in men, has indeed caused an alarm to those who are and who will be affected. Knowledge about prostate cancer treatment is indeed important so that possible patients will know about the methods that will be used in order to treat this kind of cancer. The use of radiation is one of the methods being adapted by experts to cure and alleviate not only that of prostate cancer symptoms but also other types of cancer.

Radiation therapy can be delivered in two ways, internally or externally. It depends upon the choice of the patient and the decision of the doctor when it comes to the severity of the tumor that needs to be treated with radiation. During delivery, the personnel must be protected. The amount of exposure to harmful radiation effects is directly proportional to the length of time of exposure, the distance from the radiation source, and the use of shields containing lead like the walls, aprons or movable shields which absorb the radioactive rays and decrease exposure to their harmful effects.

Internal radiation therapy includes intracavitary, interstitial and systemic treatments. With intracavitary treatment, gamma rays are emitted from a radioactive source that has been introduced into a cavity in a suitable applicator. The applicator is usually inserted in the operating room with the patient under general anesthesia. The radioisotope is not inserted into the applicator until the patient is returned into the room. This type of radiation therapy is usually done for patients with uterine or cervical cancers. Systemic radiation therapy in the form of radioactive iodine is sometimes incorporated in treatment for thyroid cancer.

Prostate cancer treatment in mexico includes interstitial implants or brachytherapy wherein radiation is inserted in the tumor mass or adjacent tissue to concentrate the effects of radiation in a local area. Radon, iodine, and gold seeds are used as permanent implants and are not later removed. Because of the small amount of radioactive material, you are not considered to be radioactive. Radium and cesium needles and tantalum and iridium wires, which are all temporary implants, are also used. These approaches for delivery of radiation can be used alone or combined with either a surgical procedure or external radiation therapy.

The second type of radiation procedure which is the external radiation therapy is delivered with either kilovoltage or megavoltage machines. Kilovoltage refers to thousands of electron volts and the machine delivers x-rays at a low energy level. The maximum dose is produced at the skin surface or 1 to 2 cm below the skin surface. Skin tolerance has been a limiting factor for this type of therapy. With megavoltage machines, the radiation penetration is much deeper because of the energy source and the skin reaction is much less.

Lastly, the linear accelerators or sometimes called the supervoltage machines use protons, neutrons, or electrons as the radiation source. The radiation dose penetrates below the skin surface, varying in depth from several millimeters to several centimeters, therefore sparing of the skin is significant. This has also expanded the use of radiation as a treatment modality.