A study published in September 2017, titled: ‘Quality of life after brachytherapy or bilateral nerve‐sparing robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer: a prospective cohort’, compared patient quality of life after either brachytherapy or radical prostatectomy treatments.
Because prostate cancer and its treatment options involve the most intimate of male-related issues—erectile and urinary function—they generate a great deal of investigative scrutiny. From the physician's point of view, a prescribed treatment can be life changing, with both benefits and drawbacks for the male subject. More importantly, treatment can be lifesaving.
Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men, and will directly or indirectly effect most of us in our lifetime. With new research showing that half of prostate cancer patients undergo treatment without knowing their treatment options, it is more important than ever to talk openly about this disease and the full range of choices available when deciding upon treatment.
The ASCENDE-RT (Androgen Suppression Combined with Elective Nodal and Dose Escalated Radiation Therapy) study was the first randomized clinical trial comparing brachytherapy to the traditional use of external beam radiation therapy to treat intermediate and high risk Prostate Cancer patients over a period of between 6 to 9 years.
The results show a significant increase in survival rates with an average of 50% of patients showing progression free survival when treated with LDR brachytherapy.
On Wednesday 4th & 11th January 2017, prostate cancer was the topic of discussion on BBC Radio 4’s Inside Health programme. Host Dr. Mark Porter chaired a panel discussion, which cast a spotlight on the uncertainty men, and their families, face during the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.
Prostate brachytherapy is a targeted form of internal radiotherapy (sometimes referred to as low dose-rate or LDR brachytherapy). It is targeted only at the site of the tumour so the radiation kills the cancer cells without causing major damage to surrounding healthy cells. Tiny seeds containing the radiation are passed through fine needles and positioned directly into the prostate gland. It is not major surgery and usually patients will only spend 1 day in hospital. Most men return to their usual pre-treatment activities within a couple of days.