Brachytherapy Treatment for Prostate Cancer
Dr. Bruce Berger, M.D., F.A.C.S. from Chesapeake Urology answers your questions about brachytherapy treatment for prostate cancer.
Q: My prostate cancer has been caught early. Is brachytherapy right for me?
A: As with any treatment, there are pros and cons. Brachytherapy is usually an option to be considered in older men where the cancer has not spread outside the prostate. In some circumstances when the cancer is caught in a very early stage, it is used in younger men. Your doctor should have the experience to guide you toward the right decision. If your doctor is experienced in all aspects of prostate cancer treatment, you’re likely to get an unbiased view of what treatment option is best for you.
Q: What is brachytherapy?
A: Brachytherapy is a form of radiation treatment for prostate cancer. During brachytherapy, tiny radioactive “seeds” are carefully placed into the prostate gland around the tumor, isolating the radiation inside the prostate. These seeds deliver low-dose radiation over the course of several months.
Q: What happens to the seeds after the treatment is over?
A: After the seeds are no longer radioactive, they remain harmlessly in place inside the prostate.
Q: How are the seeds placed?
A: The process of the seed implantation is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure during which the patient is under an anesthetic. It is painless and the patient can usually return to normal activity within one to three days.
Q: What are the benefits of brachytherapy?
A: Brachytherapy delivers targeted radiation directly to the tumor, meaning the risk to surrounding organs and tissues is minimal.
Q: What are the results of brachytherapy?
A: Brachytherapy can cure more than 90% of early prostate cancers without the need for further treatment.
Bruce Berger, M.D. is certified by the American Board of Urology. Throughout his career, he has been affiliated with Sinai Hospital, LifeBridge Health, and Levindale Hospital and Geriatric Center. Dr. Berger’s main clinical interests include benign and malignant diseases of the prostate.
For more information about Dr. Berger and the services available at Chesapeake Urology Associates, call 1-866-955-0002 or visit our website at www.chesapeakeurology.com.
Chesapeake Urology Associates is the premier urology practice in Maryland, treating prostate cancer, testicular cancer, erectile dysfunction and incontinence, plus performing vasectomies, reverse vasectomies and more. If you have a concern, schedule a screening today by calling 1-866-955-0002.
Avoid Golfer's Elbow
Whether you're a scratch golfer or just a weekend duffer, chances are too much time on the course has led to golfer's elbow, one of the most common golf injuries. Don't let an injury keep you in the clubhouse this spring. There are a few simple exercises to help build up forearm muscles and avoid golfer's elbow.
· Squeeze a tennis ball -- just a few minutes at a time helps strengthen your forearm.
· Wrist curls -- with a lightweight dumbbell, lower the weight to the end of your fingers, and then curl back into your palm, followed by curling up your wrist to lift the weight.
· Reverse wrist curls -- with hands palm side down, lift the weight up and down using your wrist.
Eating for Health
Adequate and appropriate nutrition is important for the health and performance of young athletes. Exercise involves the repeated breaking down of tissue and then rebuilding it "better" than it had been previously. Eating the right amount of the right food is imperative to this rebuilding process. Listed below are a few strategies to finding the right food.
· Avoid processed or enriched foods.
· Shop on the "outside" of the grocery store where fresh, "whole" foods such as fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy can be found, thus avoiding the highly processed foods, generally found in the aisles of the store.
· Frozen fruits and vegetables retain more nutrients much better than canned.
· Eat foods of a variety of colors each day. The different colors of foods indicate they contain different nutrients.
· A well balanced diet for young athletes should primarily be carbohydrates for energy.
· Choose nutrient dense carbohydrates such as whole grains, pasta, fruits and vegetables and avoid energy dense carbohydrates such as candy, cookies and foods with added sugar, fructose, etc.
· Include a moderate amount of proteins as children and athletes need a greater amount of proteins than adults and non-athletes to assist in the rebuilding of tissue.
· Fats, preferably unsaturated fats, are necessary in small to moderate amounts well.
· Avoid partially hydrogenated oils, otherwise known as trans fats. The government allows products to say zero grams of trans fat even if it contains the very unhealthy partially hydrogenated oils, so read ingredient labels carefully.
· Vitamins and minerals are necessary in small amounts. Best sources are in fruits and vegetables. Supplements may be okay, but check with your doctor first.
· Avoid fad diets.
Food preparation is important to maintain nutrients so you should minimize the amount of fried foods in your diet. Steam food rather than boil it.
Link of the Week
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers information on everything from common sports injuries to choosing the right orthopaedic surgeon.
Issue 3.7: February 14, 2008