Treating Prostate Cancer In Singapore With Brachytherapy

Medically reviewed by Dr Johann Tang, Senior Consultant Radiation Oncologist
Radiation Machine for Prostate Cancer

As the 3rd most common cancer diagnosed in males in Singapore, prostate cancer has been increasing in incidence over the last few decades. Read on to learn more about the symptoms and risk factors of prostate cancer, as well as various types of radiation treatment for  prostate cancer radiation treatment such as proton, IGRT and brachytherapy

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate gland, which is located below the bladder near the urethra in males. Some of the symptoms of prostate cancer include frequent urination at night or an inability to urinate, pain or a burning sensation when urinating, blood in the urine, bone pain, as well as unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite. The risk of prostate cancer increases in men who are over the age of 50, as well as for those who are obese, eat a diet high in fat, and have a family history of prostate cancer. 

The good news about prostate cancer is that it is often diagnosed at early stages with timely screening, making long-term prognosis for the average patient to be highly encouraging as compared to other forms of cancers. Radiation oncologists are able to provide effective radiation treatment for prostate cancer, greatly increasing the likelihood of a full recovery. To reduce the risk of prostate cancer, it helps to eat a healthy diet incorporating fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, as well as maintain a healthy weight.

Generally, radiation treatment is the main modality used to treat prostate cancer, delivering radiation that damages the DNA of cancer cells and stops their further growth. Other treatment methods include surgery for localised tumours at the earlier stages of prostate cancer, and hormone therapy which interferes with the growth stimulatory effects of male hormones and which works in conjunction with radiation therapy.

What radiation treatments are used for prostate cancer?

Brachytherapy is one of the most commonly utilised radiation treatments for prostate cancer. It is a form of internal radiation therapy that involves the insertion of a radioactive source close to or inside the tumour, allowing it to deliver radiation effectively to the targeted area while minimising radiation exposure to healthy tissue. Brachytherapy treatment courses in Singapore tend to be completed in a shorter period compared to other radiation therapy techniques, reducing opportunities for cancer cells to grow and divide in between doses while allowing patients to make fewer visits for a more accessible and convenient treatment experience. 

Brachytherapy in Singapore is administered either via permanent radioactive seed implants in the case of Low Dose Rate (LDR) treatments, or by moving a radioactive source temporarily during a session for High Dose Rate (HDR) treatment. LDR and HDR differ in terms of the duration that the radioactive sources are placed in proximity to the cancer, which influences the total dosage of radiation received during each treatment session. HDR radiation treatment for prostate cancer offers more precise targeting and stronger treatment, while also removing the risk that can arise with seed implants moving away from intended positions due to swelling.

Other forms of radiation treatment for prostate cancer include external beam radiation therapies, such as Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) which uses advanced imaging equipment to facilitate the precise targeting of cancer tumours to minimise damage to healthy tissue. Another option is proton therapy, which utilises positively-charged protons that deliver effective focusing of their energy to target tumours while minimising damage to nearby tissue as they enter the body, reducing side effects and improving patients’ recovery.

Seeking quality prostate cancer radiation treatment in Singapore? Get in touch with us today to arrange for an appointment and consultation.

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About Dr Johann Tang

Senior Consultant Radiation Oncologist
Medical Director
MBBS (Aust), FRANZCR (Radiation Oncology), FAMS

Dr Tang obtained his medical degree from the University of Newcastle, Australia in 1998, and completed his house officer training at the Hunter Area Health Service in Australia. After his successful training, Dr Tang returned to Singapore to start his speciality training in Radiation Oncology at the National University Hospital (NUH). Obtaining his fellowship from the Royal Australian College of Radiologist (FRANZCR) in 2006, Dr Tang underwent fellowships in breast brachytherapy at the University of Wisconsin and Arizona Breast Cancer Specialist Centre, as well as prostate brachytherapy, skin and paediatric fellowships at Peter Maccallum Cancer Institute, Australia. In 2021, Dr Tang underwent a fellowship at the New York Proton Centre with Dr Charles Simone in Head and Neck, Reirradiation, Paediatric, Prostate and Lung cancers.

Why Choose Dr Johann Tang

Dr Johann Tang is an experienced radiation oncologist who aims to deliver the highest level of care to his patients. He is dedicated to understanding each patient’s condition and provides holistic customized care that is both effective and compassionate. With ethics and empathy held at the core of our practice, we strive to understand your individual needs and provide care that is compassionate and responsive.

Experienced Radiation Oncologist

Dr. Johann Tang is a highly experienced radiation oncologist with over 20 years treating various cancers in both adults and children and several accolades to his name. Prior to entering private practice where he is currently a Senior Consultant and Medical Director. Dr Tang was at NUH for 18 years from 2001 to 2019. Dr Tang spearheaded and built up the breast brachytherapy (Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation APBI), outpatient interstitial image- guided cervical brachytherapy and paediatric radiotherapy services at NUH, to provide an array of the latest and best treatment options for patients. Dr. Tang is also passionately involved in research having authored numerous peer reviewed publications, and has won several research prizes.

Evidence-based Treatments

Dr. Johann Tang and his team utilizes technology that has proven to be effective in cancer treatment. Having decades of experience in treating and researching the disease has enabled Dr Tang to remain current and on top of best practices and novel techniques, providing his patients with full assurance that they are receiving the most effective treatment available.

Patient-centered Care

Dr Johann Tang’s patients are his top priority. He journeys with them from diagnosis till the completion of treatment. With Dr Tang, all patients can be fully assured that their clinical needs and well being are attended to. Dr. Tang is also passionately involved in research having authored numerous peer reviewed publications, and has won several research prizes.

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

- Dr Johann Tang

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Contact Dr Johann Tang

ME Novena Specialist Group
@ Mt. Elizabeth Novena Hospital
Address: 38 Irrawaddy Road
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

ME Novena Specialist Group Pte Ltd @ Farrer Park Hospital
Address: 1 Farrer Park Station Road, #11-01 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

ME Novena Specialist Group
Pte Ltd @ Proton Therapy SG
Address: Amnios Building
1 Biopolis Drive,
Singapore 138622
Telephone: +65 6690 6811
Fax: +65 6690 6828
Whatsapp: +65 9641 4747
Clinic Hours:

Mon – Fri:
8:30am – 5:30pm Sat:
8:30am – 1:00pm Sun & Public Holidays: Closed