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Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust: Radiotherapy for prostate cancer

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Can prostate cancer be treated with radiotherpay in the UK?

Yes, prostate cancer can be treated with radiotherapy in the UK. Radiotherapy is one of the main treatment options for prostate cancer and may be used as a primary treatment for localized prostate cancer or as part of a combined treatment approach for locally advanced or metastatic disease.

There are two main types of radiotherapy used to treat prostate cancer:

  1. External Beam Radiotherapy (EBRT): This involves delivering radiation to the prostate gland from outside the body using a machine called a linear accelerator. EBRT is typically delivered over several weeks, with daily treatment sessions lasting a few minutes each.
  2. Brachytherapy: Also known as internal radiotherapy, brachytherapy involves placing radioactive seeds or pellets directly into the prostate gland. These radioactive sources emit radiation over time, delivering a high dose of radiation to the prostate while minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy tissues.

In addition to these primary forms of radiotherapy, other advanced techniques such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) may also be used to deliver precise and targeted radiation to the prostate while minimizing side effects.

Radiotherapy can be used alone as a curative treatment for localized prostate cancer or in combination with other treatments such as hormone therapy, surgery, or chemotherapy for more advanced or aggressive disease. The choice of treatment approach depends on various factors, including the stage and grade of the cancer, the patient's overall health and preferences, and the expertise of the treating healthcare team.

In the UK, radiotherapy for prostate cancer is available through the National Health Service (NHS) and is provided at specialized cancer treatment centers by experienced oncologists and radiographers. Patients undergoing radiotherapy for prostate cancer will typically receive comprehensive care, including pre-treatment evaluation, treatment planning, radiation delivery, and follow-up monitoring to assess treatment response and manage any side effects.



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