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Internal radiotherapy (brachytherapy) for prostate cancer

Brachytherapy is a type of internal radiation therapy. It is when a radioactive source is put inside the prostate. It then releases radiation to destroy the prostate cancer cells. The source, also known as seeds or pellets might stay inside your prostate permanently or your radiographers or doctor will remove it after treatment.  

Permanent seed brachytherapy

Permanent seed brachytherapy is when your doctor puts very small radioactive metal seeds into your prostate gland. The seeds slowly release a low level of radiation into the area of the prostate over a few months. 

 

Temporary brachytherapy

Temporary brachytherapy is when radioactive pellets are put into your prostate gland. Your doctor takes them out at the end of the treatment. It is also called high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy. 

Long term side effects of internal radiotherapy (brachytherapy)

Brachytherapy can cause some long term side effects such as passing wee (urine) more often and difficulty getting an erection.

Last reviewed: 
23 Jul 2019

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