Radiation Treatment for

Prostate Cancer

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What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer radiation treatment is an option recommended for patients diagnosed with prostate cancer. It uses high-energy X-rays generated from a radiation therapy machine called a LINAC to destroy cancer cells. Prostate cancer radiation treatment has long been used to kill tumours without the need for surgical operations. It inhibits cancer cells from multiplying by delivering ionising radiation to destroy cancer cells, whilst minimising radiation damage to normal tissues. When these cancer cells die, the body naturally eliminates them. Healthy normal tissues are then able to repair themselves in a way that cancer cells cannot, leading to a much higher proportion of tumour cell death compared to normal cells.

What are the common signs and symptoms

  • Prostate cancer may cause no signs or symptoms in its early stages. Prostate cancer that's more advanced may cause signs and symptoms such as:

    • Frequent urination (especially at night)
    • Weak urinary stream
    • Inability to urinate
    • Interruption of urinary stream
    • Pain or burning sensation during urination
    • Blood in the urine
    • Bone pain
    • Weight loss
    • Loss of appetite

How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

  • Digital rectal examination
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test
  • Transrectal Ultrasound Guidance (TRUS) and Biopsy

What are the different types of treatment?

Prostate cancer treatment includes surgery, radiotherapy, or observation; depending on the stage of the disease, Gleason score, and Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels. It is always best to detect prostate cancer as early as possible through screening and facilitate early treatment. For early stage prostate cancer, either surgery, radiotherapy or observation are options. Even for locally advanced prostate cancer, radiotherapy combined with hormonal treatment can lead to a high chance of disease control. We highly recommend you to discuss the various available treatment options with your doctor.

Surgery

A procedure called radical prostatectomy may be recommended if the tumour is localised at the prostrate. It involves the complete removal of the prostate.

Chemotherapy

Though uncommon, chemotherapy helps improve symptoms of prostate cancer if hormone therapy is ineffective.

Hormone Therapy

Hormonal therapy is commonly used to treat prostate cancer when it has spread or in combination with radiation therapy when the cancer is locally advanced or high risk.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy targeted x-rays to treat cancer.

What is Radiation Therapy?

Prostate cancer radiation treatment is an option recommended for patients diagnosed with prostate cancer. It uses high-energy X-rays generated from a radiation therapy machine called a LINAC to destroy cancer cells. Prostate cancer radiation treatment has long been used to kill tumours without the need for surgical operations. It inhibits cancer cells from multiplying by delivering ionising radiation to destroy cancer cells, whilst minimising radiation damage to normal tissues. When these cancer cells die, the body naturally eliminates them. Healthy normal tissues are then able to repair themselves in a way that cancer cells cannot, leading to a much higher proportion of tumour cell death compared to normal cells.

How is Radiation Therapy done?

Consultation

The Radiation Oncologist determines the most appropriate method and discusses with you the treatment intent, schedule, risks and side-effects.

Mark-Up and Simulation

A CT scan of the treatment area will be obtained, while three small full-stop size marks are made to ensure accurate positioning during your daily treatment.

Treatment Planning

A multidisciplinary team produces a customised treatment plan for you.

Treatment

Radiation therapy for prostate cancer is delivered daily (Mondays to Fridays) for about eight weeks. Each treatment session lasts 20 minutes.

Follow-Up

Your first follow-up appointment varies depending on how you do during treatment, and is usually about four to twelve weeks after you have completed the course of radiation therapy.

What are the types of radiation therapy available for prostate cancer?

3-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy (3DCRT)

3DCRT delivers very precise doses of radiation to the prostate and spares surrounding normal tissue through a machine called a linear accelerator.

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

IMRT involves varying (or modulating) the intensity of the radiation being delivered during treatment. Compared to 3DCRT, this technique can deliver more tightly focused radiation beams to cancerous tumours while reducing the amount n of radiation to surrounding healthy tissues.

High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy

HDR Brachytherapy is able to deliver extremely high doses of radiation therapy to tumours with minimal normal tissue effects through the use of Iridium-192 sources placed directly at the tumour site through the use of specialised applications.

"I guarantee my very best expertise delivered with compassion and dignity as we journey TOGETHER to BEAT this dreaded illness."

- Dr Johann Tang

Make An Enquiry

Got Queries? Book an appointment with Dr Johann Tang by filling up this form. We'll get on a call with you as soon as possible.

Prefer to talk? Call us directly at +65 6690 6811
or email us at drjohanntang@gmail.com

What are the potential side effects?

Although generally safe and clinically tested in Singapore and overseas, prostate cancer radiation treatment does have some side effects that may or may not manifest in some patients. You may experience minimal side effects in the first one or two weeks following your radiation therapy session, which usually improves over time and can be controlled with medication. Inform your doctor or nurse if you are experiencing any discomfort so they can help to alleviate your side effects and improve your wellbeing.

  • Frequent urination
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Urinary leakage
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhoea
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Rectal leaking
  • Fatigue
  • Sexual dysfunction, including diminished erectile function or decrease in the volume of semen
  • Skin reactions
  • Secondary cancers in the region of the radiation

Caring for yourself during and after Radiation therapy

  • Stop smoking

    Immediate benefits of less airway irritation with less cough and shortness of breath.

  • Stay active

    Even gently short bouts of activity helps! Improves mood, reduces fatigue, and helps with appetite.

  • Check your medications

    Inform your doctor if you are taking medications, to make sure that they are safe to use during radiation therapy.

  • Be careful caring for the affected area

    Avoid hot or cold packs and only use lotions and ointments after checking with your doctor or nurse. Clean the affected area with lukewarm water and mild soap

  • Enlist support

    Mental and emotional health is as important as physical health. It might be helpful to talk to counsellors or join a cancer support group.

  • Have a caregiver who can manage your care

    It is good to have someone who can help to keep track of hospital appointments and medications prescribed.

  • Rest well

    Get plenty of rest during treatment.

  • Eat well

    Makes you feel better, have fewer side effects, and allows you to fight infections better.

"I guarantee my very best expertise delivered with compassion and dignity as we journey TOGETHER to BEAT this dreaded illness."

- Dr Johann Tang

Make An Enquiry

Got Queries? Book an appointment with Dr Johann Tang by filling up this form. We'll get on a call with you as soon as possible.

Prefer to talk? Call us directly at +65 6690 6811
or email us at drjohanntang@gmail.com

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Contact Dr Johann Tang

ME Novena Specialist Group Pte Ltd
Mt. Elizabeth Novena Hospital
Address: 38 Irrawaddy Road
#08-36/7/8/9
Singapore 329563
Telephone: +65 6690 6811
Fax: +65 6690 6828
Whatsapp: +65 9641 4747
Clinic Hours:

Mon – Fri: 8:30am – 5:30pm
Sat: 8:30am – 12:00pm
Sun & Public Holidays: Closed

Farrer Park Hospital
Address: 1 Farrer Park Station Road, #07-14 Connexion
Singapore 217562
Telephone: +65 6690 6811
Fax: +65 6690 6828
Whatsapp: +65 9641 4747
Clinic Hours:

Mon – Fri: 8:30am – 5:30pm
Sat: 8:30am – 12:00pm
Sun & Public Holidays: Closed