Brachytherapy is a technique of external beam radiotherapy. Currently, two types of this therapy are used:
- HDR brachytherapy ("high dose rate", using radioactive isotopes of high dose radiation power), in which a radioactive isotope is delivered into the prostate for a short time.
- brachytherapy with permanent radioactive implant insertion (LDR) into a tumour in the prostate.
The first type of this therapy is available in Polish medical centres. The procedure is performed in an operating theatre and takes from 1.5 to 3 hours. During the procedure, the patient is under subdural or general anaesthesia. During the procedure the patient lies on his back and has a catheter inserted. A transrectal ultrasound scan is performed before the procedure to evaluate the size and the size of the gland. A stabilising plate is placed on a perineum skin to immobilise applicators (needles) with a radiation source, for their correct implanting. After one day at a hospital, the patient can return home.
Delayed complications rate after brachytherapy:
- complications from the genitourinary system affect 4.3% of patients;
- gastrointestinal complications affect 1.7% of patients;
- urethral stricture - 3.4% of patients
- urinary incontinence - 0.8% of patients
- problems with urination - 0.8% of men
- rectal bleeding - 1.7% of patients.
The aim of this therapy is to slow down the disease development, prevent severe complications...
The aim of the LRP therapy is to prevent further development of the disease through prostate resection.