Radiotherapy for prostate cancer

Just as with X-rays, you can neither see nor feel the radiation. Radiotherapy is an organ-conserving procedure used in the treatment of prostate cancer. It is carried out under certain conditions as an equivalent alternative to an operation. Radiotherapy may also be used after an operation.

The surrounding organs have to be well protected.

In the radiation of the prostate carcinoma, it is essential to protect the root of the penis, the rectum, the bladder and the urethra in order to avoid side effects. As the prostate is located in the middle of the pelvis, its position can change. A "safety margin" must be planned in to ensure that the whole prostate is radiated. In the ideal case this "safety margin" is as small as possible. Depending on the requirements, prostate radiation "from outside" and/or "from inside" is recommended.

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Radiation technologies for prostate cancer

Radiation „from outside“

IMRT/RapidArc

Higher and more precise radiation dosage for tumours that are difficult to reach

More about IMRT

Gold markers

Implanted gold markers show a more precise position of the prostate.

More about IGRT/Goldmarker-Implantation

Radiation „from inside“

Brachytherapy

Temporary insertion of radioactive implants into the prostate (high dose rate)

More about Brachytherapie

Seed implantation

Weakly radioactive implants (seeds) are inserted in the prostate

More about seed therapy

Radiotherapy for prostate cancer

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Possible side effects:

The therapy may lead to acute and chronic side effects such as fatigue, increased urge to urinate or diarrhoea. These have become less common now, however, with the modern radiation technologies (IMRT, IGRT). The irradiation of prostate cancer is generally a well-tolerated therapy. Your doctor will inform you exhaustively about the risks before the radiotherapy begins. In order to keep side effects to an absolute minimum, you also receive advice, for example, on skincare and diet.

Important recommendations during radiotherapy for prostate cancer:

  • Drink plenty of fluid! This helps to avoid infections.
  • Go to the toilet (urine and bowel movement) 60-90 minutes before the CT and radiation. Drink 0.5 l of fluid before the therapy begins (if possible without going to the toilet).
  • Shower with a mild washing lotion. The skin must not be irritated!!

Not allowed: swimming, sauna, full bath, bloating foods.

This information serves merely as an initial guide. For a personal and detailed initial talk please make an appointment.