Radiation often is used to treat prostate cancer that is contained within the prostate or the surrounding area. For early-stage disease, patients often have a choice between surgery and radiation with similar outcomes. For larger or more aggressive tumors, radiation therapy may be used in combination with hormone therapy. Radiation also may be used to treat prostate cancer tumors that are not completely removed or that come back after surgery.
The newest radiation therapy techniques and remarkable skill allow our doctors to target tumors more precisely than ever before, delivering the maximum amount of radiation with the least damage to healthy cells.
Banner MD Anderson provides the most advanced radiation treatments for prostate cancer, including:
- Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT): External radiation which is tailored to the specific shape of the tumor, avoiding surrounding normal organs
- Brachytherapy: Tiny radioactive seeds are placed in the prostate very close to the tumor and left permanently
Because the prostate can move within the body from day to day, techniques are used to ensure the radiation is being given to the exact location of the organ each day. These include:
- Ultrasound imaging through the abdomen
- Implanting gold markers that show up on X-rays
- CT or CAT (computed axial tomography) scan
- Proton therapy