Prostate brachytherapy involves placing radioactive sources in the prostate. This way, the tumour receives the maximum dose of radiation while the neighbouring healthy tissue receives a minimal dose.
Prostate brachytherapy can be used as the sole treatment modality or in combination with external beam radiotherapy, depending on the stage of the disease.
High Dose Rate [HDR] brachytherapy is the choice of treatment due to the ability to conform the radiation dose to the shape of the prostate gland due to the short range effect of the radiation source. This results in a steep dose gradient which allows a high radiation dose to be delivered to the tumour, while sparing the surrounding normal tissues.
Volumetric modulated arc therapy [VMAT] involves the use of external radiation therapy beams being directed in a series of arcs or angles to allow for greater access to tumour. VMAT allows more difficult tumours, such as ones wrapped around other important structures, to be targeted precisely.
Image-guided radiation therapy [IGRT] is a radiation therapy which utilises advanced imaging equipment and computer software to accurately target tumours. This minimises the impact on surrounding healthy tissues, resulting in fewer potential side effects from treatment.
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