Brachytherapy is the treatment of prostate cancer by the implantation of radioactive ‘seeds’ into the prostate using ultrasound guidance. As opposed to radiotherapy where radiation is aimed at the prostate from outside the body, brachytherapy achieves this from within the prostate itself. In theory, this should then help reduce the side effects of radiation treatment. Brachytherapy is not advocated for all patients. In general, it may be considered for patients with a Gleason score less than 8 prostate cancer, small to moderate size prostate gland, good urinary flow rates and a PSA of less than 15. We will discuss brachytherapy with you as part of your treatment option in greater detail if appropriate.
Although brachytherapy avoids some of the side-effects associated with external-beam radiotherapy, there are other problems that can arrise (such as rectal pain).