Radiation Treatment

Radiation Treatment, external beam radiotherapy, uses high energy X-ray beams to treat prostate cancer. The X-ray beams are directed at the prostate gland from outside the body. They damage the cancer cells and stop them growing.
You may be able to have radiotherapy if your cancer is still contained within the prostate gland (localized prostate cancer). Radiotherapy may also be suitable for some men whose cancer has spread to the area just outside the prostate.

External beam radiotherapy is sometimes given alongside permanent seed brachytherapy or temporary brachytherapy (internal radiotherapy). Radiotherapy can also be used after surgery if your PSA level starts to rise or if there is a risk that not all the cancer was removed with surgery.

• Radiotherapy has none of the risks of surgery and having a general anaesthetic.
• It can be given when you are considered unsuitable or unfit for surgery.
• Some men may find the treatment position a bit uncomfortable but the radiotherapy itself is painless.
• It is relatively quick. Daily treatment sessions last about 10 to 20 minutes, and you do not need to stay in hospital overnight.
• You can carry on with many of your usual activities while you are having treatment.

• You will need to go to a specialist hospital for treatment five days a week for several weeks -- and each visit could take at least an hour. This might be difficult if you need to travel a long distance.
• Potential for secondary malignancies in the radiated field
• There is a risk of side effects including bowel problems, urinary problems and erectile dysfunction.
• It may be some time before you will know whether the treatment has been successful.