Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer: Everything You Need to Know

by | Mar 14, 2021 | CyberKnife For Prostate Cancer

More than 60,000 men in the United States choose radiation therapy to treat prostate cancer each year, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.  The cure rate is excellent using radiation and it has a proven safety track record.

That makes radiation a powerful tool in the fight against prostate cancer.  

Radiation therapy for prostate cancer kills the malignant cells while sparing the healthy ones.  There are several different types of radiation used to treat prostate cancer.

What is Prostate Cancer Radiation Therapy?

According to the American Cancer Society, the main types of radiation therapy used for prostate cancer are external beam radiation and internal radiation.

Internal Radiation also Called Brachytherapy:  

This treatment uses small radioactive pellets or seeds that are placed into the prostate. This treatment is used for men with early-stage, slow-growing cancers but can also be combined with external radiation for men with a greater risk of the cancer spreading.

External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT):  

Radiation focused on the prostate gland from outside the body. EBRT is often used for earlier staged cancers or to help relieve symptoms like bone pain if the cancer has spread. 

Within the EBRT category there are four types of external radiation:

Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D-CRT): High energy photon radiation delivered typically in 42 treatments.

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT):  An advanced form of 3D-CRT. Also typically delivered in 42 treatments.

Proton Beam Radiation Therapy: This therapy focuses beams of protons instead of photon beam. Typically delivered in 40 treatments. 

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT):  This therapy uses advanced image-guided techniques to deliver larger doses of radiation to a very precise area. Since the dose of radiation is larger, only five treatments are required over a few days as opposed to many more treatment sessions with other forms of radiation.

What to Expect with Prostate Cancer Radiation Therapy 

With each of these treatments, there are often side effects that can include short-term complications including urinary and bowel problems. However, depending on the treatment, side effects can be minimized. 

The Risk of Long-Term Complications with Radiation Therapy is Low – Less Than 5% According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.  

The risk of cancer recurring after receiving radiation treatment for prostate cancer is less than 1%.

With more precise treatments, side effects are lower than ever, but you must make sure the treatment center you choose has highly-skilled radiation oncologists, physicists, and radiation therapists like those at the CyberKnife Center of Miami.

Prostate Cancer Alternative Treatment: SBRT With CyberKnife

The prostate is close to several important structures in a man’s body. Cancer and the traditional treatments can affect your lifestyle by interfering with urinary, bowel and sexual function.  

CyberKnife is a form of SBRT — an alternative, highly-effective prostate cancer treatment. It is a non-invasive, state-of-the-art form of radiation equipment.  

In this video, Dr. Mark Pomper, radiation oncologist and medical director of CyberKnife Miami explains how CyberKnife is changing the treatment for prostate cancer.  

Dr. Pomper says CyberKnife kills prostate cancer while reducing the risk of unwanted side effects of traditional treatments because of its accuracy.

Benefits of CyberKnife for Prostate Cancer

The radiation beam from Cyberknife stays focused on the prostate during treatment. It uses image-guidance technology unique to CyberKnife to follow the natural motion of the prostate. This allows for very small margins during treatment and therefore having less risk of affecting nearby vital structures.  

There is also a reduced risk of impotence and urinary incontinence. The sexual function remains the same for most patients after treatment. Side effects of CyberKnife may include tiredness and urinary and rectal irritation. Over-the-counter medications can help minimize these and they usually go away in a few weeks.

There is also a lower risk of toxicity than with traditional radiation because of the image-guidance and very small treatment margins.  

CyberKnife for Prostate Cancer Treatment Near Me:  Miami, Broward, and the Palm Beaches

CyberKnife has been used worldwide to successfully treat hundreds of thousands of cases of prostate cancer.

At the CyberKnife Center of Miami we have treated prostate cancer patients in the South Florida area with excellent results since 2004. In fact, we were the first CyberKnife center to open in the Southeastern United States. Our experience is unmatched in the South Florida area. 

We not only treat patients in Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties, but we also have patients coming to us from the Bahamas, other parts of the Caribbean and foreign countries where CyberKnife is not available.

We put patients first no matter where they are from. Our staff is on hand to provide answers to any of your cancer questions.

If you would like to find out more about prostate cancer treatment with CyberKnife, call us at 305-279-2900 or go to our prostate cancer website now for more information. www.prostatecancertreatmentmiami.com.