If you’ve been diagnosed with localized prostate cancer, focal brachytherapy provides a minimally invasive treatment choice. At the Prostate Cancer Institute of Arizona in Metro Phoenix, Chandler, Arizona, cancer treatment specialist Ajay Bhatnagar, MD, uses low-dose rate focal brachytherapy to target and eliminate prostate cancer cells. Call the office today to request a focal brachytherapy consultation, or book your appointment online.
Focal brachytherapy is a type of radiation treatment. Specifically, the treatment involves using implantable radioactive “seeds” to treat only the cancerous portion of the prostate gland rather than the entire prostate gland which results in significantly less side effects. Dr. Bhatnagar inserts the seeds into strategic areas in your prostate gland. Once placed, the seeds emit radiation that kills the cancer cells.
Since the seeds are small and emit only a certain amount of radiation, treatment doesn’t harm the rest of your body.
To qualify for focal brachytherapy, you need to have localized prostate cancer. If your cancer has metastasized (spread to other parts of your body), Dr. Bhatnagar makes other recommendations or refers you to another oncologist.
Focal brachytherapy is an outpatient procedure that typically takes less than an hour.
At the start of treatment, Dr. Bhatnager administers a general anesthetic, causing you to sleep.
Once the anesthesia sets in, he makes several small incisions and inserts several hollow tubes (catheters) into your prostate gland. Dr. Bhatnagar then injects several small, radioactive “seeds” through the catheters, positioning them next to your prostate gland.
After placing the radioactive material, Dr. Bhatnagar removes the catheters and closes your incisions. The number of seeds Dr. Bhatnagar inserts depends on various things, including the size of your prostate, the cancer’s severity, and how quickly the tumor grows.
After focal brachytherapy, you need someone to drive you home. Take the rest of the day off work and get plenty of rest. Dr. Bhatnagar recommends taking warm baths, drinking lots of water, and avoiding strenuous activities to help manage your symptoms.
Avoid working out for a few days, but many men go back to work within a week. Attend each of your follow-up visits and follow Dr. Bhatnagar’s instructions as prescribed. Most swelling and discomfort subsides within a few days.
Focal brachytherapy is safe and well-tolerated, but it does present risks. After treatment, many men experience mild side effects, including:
Contact Dr. Bhatnagar immediately if you have difficulty urinating or can’t urinate at all. This is an emergency and requires prompt treatment.
Call the Prostate Cancer Institute of Arizona today to learn more about focal brachytherapy, or book your appointment online.