What Are the Risks of Seed Implant Therapy?
Posted: Nov 19, 2014
When the diagnosis is prostate cancer, the treatment options are often many. From traditional surgery to seed implant therapy, the options are all viable and it’s important to explore the pros and cons of each before making a final decision.
If your doctor has recommended prostate seed implant therapy to treat your cancer, this option is the least invasive treatment available. It’s also one of the quickest and most effective ways to battle the disease for those who are eligible candidates. Like all cancer treatments, however, there are some potential disadvantages involved. It’s important to understand them and speak with your doctor in depth before making a final choice.
So, what are the disadvantages?
Here are only a few. They include:
Urinary difficulties – Most patients who undergo prostate seed implant therapy find they have an occasional urgent need to urinate. They may also find the frequency of urination rises. In some cases, men may have difficulty urinating and may require a catheter to empty the bladder. These issues are temporary and medication can be prescribed to assist with the symptoms.
Sexual dysfunctions – The reality is this issue is commonplace with just about every prostate cancer treatment method. In the case of seed implants, about 30 percent of men report issues with erectile dysfunction. Fortunately, this issue can be successfully treated with medications in most men. In addition, the rates of sexual performance issues with seed implants are much lower than in patients who undergo surgical procedures.
While there are some potential side effects involved in seed implant therapy, it’s the advantages that make this procedure favored by those who are candidates for it. The procedure involves the implantation of tiny, radioactive seeds directly into or near the cancerous tumor. This is performed on an outpatient basis. Men are generally able to return to their normal routines within a day or two of implants.
When implant therapy is an indicated course of treatment, men will find the side-effects are small compared to the potential benefits. Not only is this form of treatment the least invasive, it also is very effective. Studies have shown is it often as - and sometimes more - effective than prostate surgery.
If it’s time to start exploring prostate cancer treatments, be sure to inquire about seed implants. This form of therapy does have some potential risks, but the benefits often far outweigh them.
Dr. Echt and his team at the Prostate Seed Institute offer the most highly sophisticated methods of radiation therapy available in the United States, equal to that found in major medical center and academic settings. These include prostate seed implantation, high dose radiation implants, and external beam radiation with image-guided and intensity-modulated (IGRT and IMRT) capabilities.
The Prostate Seed Institute is a non-surgical prostate cancer care center. The founder of the Prostate Seed Institute, Dr. Gregory Echt, is a radiation oncologist who specializes in using radiation to treat cancer.