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Monday, July 28, 2014

Saturday, December 15, 2012
Star Health

Brachytherapy

An innovation for treating prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting men. Nowadays, men harbouring prostate cancer are usually well and without any symptoms. They often have the disease detected early, when it can be cured.

There is convincing evidence to suggest that men with early stage of prostate cancer, in particular low-risk prostate cancer do not enjoy much survival advantage after radical surgery. But an advanced minor outpatient surgical procedure called brachytherapy has emerged as an effective and curative option now-a-days and getting popular by and by.

Brachytherapy is a procedure that involves placing of small radioactive seeds in the prostate gland that releases radiation from inside the body to kill cancer cells unlike traditional radiation from outside.

Emerging data have shown that it is more effective and less hazardous in comparison to conventional radiation therapy and radical surgery. It is much safer and better option when it comes to post-treatment quality of life outcomes. For patients who wish to be cured of the disease, brachytherapy by may represent an attractive treatment option which delivers the best chance of eliminating the cancer while preserving pre-treatment quality of life, in particular the preservation of urinary continence and sexual function.

Brachytherapy by seed implant is probably the most effective form of treatment for patients with low-risk early stage prostate cancer as it renders cure while preserving the quality of life. However, like every other procedure, patients should take certain precaution after implantation for safety.

If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer at early stage, discuss your doctor about this most exiting and effective option.

The writer is a Senior Consultant Urologist, Department of Urology, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore. Email: john.yuen.s.p@sgh.com.sg

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