The Princess Margaret - Radiation Therapy Centre
Radiation is the treatment of prostate cancer with high-energy beams, from x-rays or other sources, directed at a target inside the body. Radiation targets both cancer cells and normal cells, interfering with their ability to divide and grow. However, scheduled breaks between radiation sessions allow normal cells a chance to repair while not giving cancer cells enough time to recover.
Advances in radiation delivery and planning techniques are directed at increasing the accuracy of radiation beams. Greater accuracy and precision allows higher doses of radiation to be delivered to the prostate without damaging surrounding tissues.
Also called “internal radiation therapy”, this treatment involves implanting radioactive sources into the prostate to destroy cancer cells. This treatment has specific indications and provides an accurate treatment for localized prostate cancers. Basically there are 2 different types of brachytherapy used in prostate treatment:
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy
This is an advanced type of conformal radiation therapy where beams are aimed at the tumour from several directions. The strength and intensity of the beams can be adjusted to better shape and tailor radiation delivery to the tumor in order to minimize the radiation of healthy tissues.
Radiation therapy is one of the main treatments for prostate cancer. It can be used to treat prostate cancers that are confined to the prostate gland or the surrounding area. For many men with localized disease, radiation offers very effective results without the risk and recovery time associated with surgery. For early-stage prostate cancer, clinical outcomes obtained with surgery or radiation are very similar. In certain cases, radiotherapy can be combined with brachytherapy. For larger or more aggressive tumors, radiotherapy may be used in combination with hormone therapy. After surgery, radiation may also have a very important role to treat tumors that have a higher risk of recurrence, those that are not completely removed, or those that recur after surgery.
As one of the largest radiation oncology centers in North America, PMH offers cutting edge technologies in prostate cancer treatment. At PMH, you will find world-renowned Genitourinary Radiation Oncologists that will be glad to discuss your specific case.
Radiation sessions are usually delivered daily, Monday through Friday. This schedule allows the healthy cells time to recover over the weekend. Each session lasts about 20 minutes and the entire treatment program usually lasts about 7 to 8 weeks. You will see your Radiation Therapist when you come for treatment each day. They can address your concerns or refer you to other members of the health care team. You will meet your Radiation Oncologist on weekly basis during your treatment to discuss your progress.