Radioactive Seed Implantation
Physicians at Baptist Health Paducah are offering radioactive seed implantation as an alternative to prostatectomy for the treatment of prostate cancer.
Radioactive seed implantation destroys cancerous tumors from inside the prostate using implanted, low-dosage radioactive seeds to precisely direct radiation at the tumor. Treatment is performed in two stages. First, a study is conducted to determine the precise location and size of the tumor. That information is given to a radiation oncologist (a physician who specializes in treating cancer with radiation), who develops a specific dosage plan.
During the second stage of treatment, a urologist and radiation oncologist permanently implant 100 to 120 radioactive seeds in the prostate. These seeds gradually give off radiation until they are no longer active. The radioactivity lasts from 2-6 months.
Both procedures are performed on an outpatient basis.
Radioactive seed implantation offers an alternative to radical prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate) for men whose cancer is confined to the prostate. It offers patients many advantages, including:
- the ability to return to normal activities within 48 hours of the procedure, compared to weeks of convalescence with conventional surgery;
- reduced likelihood of impotence and incontinence, two common side effects of prostate surgery;
- the ability to deliver a higher effective dose of radiation to the cancerous tissue than external radiation therapy;
- reduced effects of radiation on surrounding tissues and organs, a common problem of external radiation; and
- the ability to return home on the same day or after a short, over-night stay,
For More Information
For a comprehensive library of cancer-related information, visit the Cancer Care Library.
For more information about radioactive seed implantation for the treatment of prostate cancer, please call Baptist Health Paducah's Center for Cancer Care at (270) 575-2780 or the Oncology Unit at (270) 575-2697.