Radiation seed therapy for prostate cancer and voiding symptoms.

All roads lead through Rome…all urine through the prostatic urethra!

  • Brachytherapy (seeds) is an out patient procedure for prostate cancer in which radioactive pellets are placed all about the prostate and in close proximity to the prostatic urethra.
  • When a man urinates the urine flows from the bladder through the tube in the prostate (prostatic urethra) and then out the tip of the penis.
  • The seeds irritate and inflame the prostatic urethra.
  • This results in irritative symptoms such as frequency, getting up at night and urgency.
  • If the patient had an enlarged prostate before the seeds then he may have in addition obstructive symptoms (slow stream, start stop stream, decreased force and caliber of stream.)
  • If a patient has had seeds then any surgical procedure on the prostate will often times result in poor healing, scarring and sometimes incontinence.
  • A patient can have a procedure to open up the prostate (TURP or GreenLight Laser) before seeds but it is not advisable to have surgery after seeds.
  • Irritative symptoms that are slow to resolve after seeds occurs in approximately 12% of patients.
  • Understanding seeds and their effect on voiding and the prostatic urethra is a very important factor to consider in the decision-making process.

Just because you see a male playing golf a few days after seeds doesn’t mean he isn’t having urinary issues. There is no free ride when it comes to the treatment of prostate cancer.

22_radioactive_seeds.tiff

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