Prostate Cancer Radiation Treatment Abroad
Prostate cancer radiation treatment abroad at low cost and high quality is now within reach through WorldMed Assist. Our nurses arrange all aspects of your treatment and will act as your patient advocate. We have partnerships with some of the best hospitals in the US and abroad: hospitals that are accredited (JCAHO/ Joint Commission International) and, if the hospitals are outside the US, have strategic relationships with renowned US medical institutions such as Johns Hopkins and Harvard Medical.
Most importantly, we provide you with a personal touch from start until well after your return home.
What is Prostate Cancer Radiation Treatment?
Radiation treatments, also called â€œradiation oncologyâ€ or â€œradiotherapyâ€, use a linear particle accelerator to generate high energy radiation beams.
The beams are directed externally towards the malignant growth with intent of damaging the cancer cell DNA.
Prostate cancer affects a great number of men and radiation therapy is a common option for treatment.
Most patients have a positive response to the treatment, which is sometimes combined with other forms of therapy such as chemotherapy.
Prostate cancer patients usually undergo the traditional form of external beam radiation.
However, sometimes other related radiation techniques are used.
These may include sealed source radiation therapy, which uses radioactive material placed locally near the cancer cell rather than energy rays.
Another related form of radiation therapy used in treating prostate cancer is brachytherapy (internal radiation therapy), uses radioactive material that is implanted directly into the body near the cancer site.
How does the Prostate cancer radiation treatment procedure work?
Standard external beam is a â€œfractionatedâ€ process.
This means that small dosages are applied over a longer period of time.
A prostate cancer patient will typically receive one dose of radiotherapy per day, from Monday through Friday.
The entire process will take period of about 5 to 9 weeks, depending on the growth and the individual state of the patient.
Frationating the treatment allows a patient to recover more quickly because the doses are divided up into manageable amounts.
Prostate cancer radiation treatments will inevitably damage some of the normal cells in the areas near the growth which are exposed to the rays.
Healthy prostate cells will usually recover rather quickly from any damage sustained from treatment, whereas the cancer cells will not recover.
The intent of radiation treatment is to maximize the damage to malignant growth while minimizing damage to nearby tissues and organs.
Accurate aiming and placing of the beams are crucial in minimizing damage.
What are the possible side effects of radiation treatment for prostate cancer?
Radiation therapy is considered to be a localized form of treatment, which means that the rays only affect a specific portion of the body.
This is different from other methods such as chemotherapy which involve the entire body and all its systems.
Thus, side effects from radiation treatments mainly involve areas located near the malignant growth.
For men with prostate cancer, radiation treatment can result in impotence and urinary problems since sexual and elimination functions are related to a healthy prostate.
Long-term secondary side effects such as bladder or rectal cancer may appear months or even years after treatment.
Other radiation treatment side effects may result which are not local to the treatment, including loss of hair, loss of appetite, and difficulties in digestion.
Side effects can be minimized through the use of medications and/or alternative therapy such as exercise.
Are there any alternatives with less side effects than prostate cancer radiation treatment?
As mentioned above, the precise placement and aiming of the radiation beams is absolutely crucial for treatment success and minimization of side effects.
There are several technologies being developed with the aim of increasing radiation beam accuracy.
One type of newer technology that is being increasingly used is Cyberknife technology.
Cyberknife treatments use a stereotactic radiosurgery system that is frameless and capable of treating malignant growths in any part of the body.
A robotic arm aims the beams from multiple angles, providing a level of accuracy not previously capable in standard radiation treatments.
Cyberknife systems also use the body’s skeleton structure to provide a reference map, which further enhances accuracy.
The advanced level of precision of Cyberknife treatments results in a less invasive procedure that results in fewer side effects because the field of exposure is minimized greatly.