Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy is a minimally invasive radiation based therapy for prostate cancer. Brachytherapy of the prostate is a procedure where small, radioactive pellets are placed into the prostate under ultrasound guidance. This procedure is performed with anesthesia typically on an outpatient basis. The procedure can be performed in less than an hour. The pellets are permanent, but will become inert in 90 days. Side effects of this treatment include urinary frequency and urgency, most often during those first 90 days. Erectile dysfunction can occur 1 or 2 years after the procedure.

Brachytherapy can be done alone, or in combination with external beam radiation. As a monotherapy, brachytherapy is indicated for lower risk prostate cancers that are localized in the prostate. In higher risk prostate cancers, brachytherapy is often performed in combination with external beam radiotherapy.

Patients interested in brachytherapy to treat their prostate cancer are referred to highly skilled radiation oncology doctors. Brachytherapy is then administered by the radiation oncologist and one of our urologists, working in tandem.