Brachytherapy Side Effects

All of us at Duly Health and Care (Duly) share a com­mon goal of pro­vid­ing com­pas­sion­ate and trans­par­ent care to all of our patients. We spe­cial­ize in pro­vid­ing Prostate Biop­sy, Focal Ther­a­py, Active Sur­veil­lance, and Low Dose Rate (LDR) Brachyther­a­py pro­ce­dures in the Chicagoland area. 

What is Brachytherapy?

Brachyther­a­py is a pro­ce­dure that uses radioac­tive seeds to emit ion­iz­ing radi­a­tion direct­ly into a malig­nant tumor. It is typ­i­cal­ly an out­pa­tient pro­ce­dure that lasts about an hour. Dur­ing the pro­ce­dure, the physi­cian uses ultra­sound guid­ance to image the prostate in order to strate­gi­cal­ly place the radioac­tive seeds with­in the prostate gland. It is min­i­mal­ly inva­sive and typ­i­cal­ly does not require pain med­ica­tion as there is no inci­sion. How­ev­er there can be sore­ness to the per­ineum. Talk to your doc­tor about pre­scrip­tion pain med­ica­tion if needed.

What are the Imme­di­ate (Short-term) Side Effects of Brachytherapy?

Due to the nee­dles placed in the prostate dur­ing the pro­ce­dure, some side effects might be present in the first cou­ple of days. Some of these side effects might include slight bleed­ing, bruis­ing, or sore­ness around the per­ineum between the scro­tum and the anus, or blood in your urine. These side effects are per­fect­ly nor­mal and shouldn’t be the cause of any wor­ry. How­ev­er, if your bleed­ing becomes abun­dant, or you notice large blood clots in your urine, con­tact your doc­tor imme­di­ate­ly. If you have any ques­tions about your pro­ce­dure or about your prostate, please con­sult the physi­cian per­form­ing the brachyther­a­py procedure.

What Are the Long-term Side Effects of Brachytherapy?

It’s impor­tant to rec­og­nize that some side effects may not appear until 2 – 4 weeks after the pro­ce­dure. These par­tic­u­lar side effects come from the radi­a­tion that is being emit­ted into your prostate from the seed implants. You may expe­ri­ence fre­quent, urgent, or uncom­fort­able uri­na­tion. How­ev­er, these symp­toms usu­al­ly don’t last for long peri­ods of time and will decrease as the seeds lose their radioac­tive strength. It’s rec­om­mend­ed to drink plen­ty of water to help reduce these side effects. Many physi­cians pre­scribe med­ica­tions to alle­vi­ate these symp­toms. Please talk to your doc­tor if you are par­tic­u­lar­ly both­ered by your uri­nary symptoms.

Does Brachyther­a­py Cause ED?

There is a chance that you may have erec­tile dys­func­tion after the LDR Brachyther­a­py pro­ce­dure. Patients over the age of 70 are more like­ly to be impact­ed by this side effect. Patients can have improve­ment over time and with med­ica­tion aids. Speak to your physi­cian regard­ing med­ica­tion. How­ev­er, com­pared to oth­er forms of radi­a­tion treat­ment, brachyther­a­py shows a much low­er rate of these side effects. 

As with any med­ical pro­ce­dure, every case is dif­fer­ent and you should fol­low up with your doc­tor to answer any spe­cif­ic questions.

If you have been diag­nosed with prostate can­cer and would like to dis­cuss brachyther­a­py treat­ment, sched­ule an appoint­ment with our Brachyther­a­py provider today.

Source: https://​www​.sci​encedi​rect​.com/​s​c​i​e​n​c​e​/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​/​p​i​i​/​S​0​3​6​0​3​0​1​6​0​4​0​27117

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