Prostate Cancer forms in tissues of the prostate, which is a gland in the male reproductive system found below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Prostate cancer usually occurs in older men and grows slowly during the initial stages will not spread. Prostate cancer begins when cells become abnormal with mutations occurring. The accumulation of abnormal cells form a tumor that can grow to invade nearby tissue. Some abnormal cells can break off and spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
Typical Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
In the early stages, prostate cancer may not cause signs or symptoms. However, in more advanced stages it may cause signs and symptoms such as:
- Trouble urinating
- Decreased force in the stream of urine
- Blood in the urine
- Blood in the semen
- General pain in the lower back, hips or thighs
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
- Bone pain
- Erectile dysfunction
Treatment with Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy to kill cancer cells. Treatment for prostate cancer can include both external beam radiation and brachytherapy.
- Radiation that comes from outside of your body (external beam radiation). During external beam radiation therapy, you lie on a table while a machine moves around your body, directing high-powered energy beams to your prostate cancer. You typically undergo external beam radiation treatments five days a week for several weeks. The radiation therapy treatments that may be utilized in your treatment plan could include Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT), Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), or 3D Conformal Therapy.
- Radiation placed inside your body (brachytherapy). Brachytherapy involves placing many rice-sized radioactive seeds in your prostate tissue. The radioactive seeds deliver a low dose of radiation over a long period of time. Your doctor implants the radioactive seeds in your prostate using a needle guided by ultrasound images. The implanted seeds eventually stop giving off radiation and don’t need to be removed.