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Prostate Cancer

Allegheny Valley Hospital

Prostate Seed Brachytherapy 

Prostate Seed Brachytherapy — an innovative, minimally invasive form of radiation therapy — fights prostate cancer with rice-sized seeds that are implanted directly into the prostate gland through fine needles.
 
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer among men in the United States. Hearing you are diagnosed with the disease can be a terrifying experience. But at Allegheny Valley Hospital (AVH) we offer the most sophisticated and effective treatment options for prostate cancer so men suffering from this disease can get the treatment they need and regain control of their lives. At AVH, there is hope.
 
The Prostate Seed Program at AVH

In conjunction with West Penn Allegheny Health System’s Radiation Oncology Network, the Prostate Seed Program at AVH offers a treatment option formerly available only in the city. Prostate brachytherapy — also called prostate seed therapy — is a localized, advanced prostate cancer treatment that involves surgically implanting tiny radioactive seeds into cancerous lesions of the prostate gland.
 
Unlike other forms of radiation therapy that deliver radiation from outside the body inward and pass through healthy tissue to reach a tumor, brachytherapy seeds emit radiation outward from within the cancerous tumor or closely adjacent to it, a process that allows physicians to safely deliver higher, more effective radiation doses.
 
Because radioactive sources are contained within the seeds that are implanted, Prostate Seed Therapy limits radiation to neighboring healthy organs.
 
The word “brachytherapy” itself means short distance therapy, implying the radiation is limited to short distances from the site of implantation. Once the seeds have exhausted their radioactive potency, they are safely left inside the body.
 
The Procedure

This precise and effective procedure has proven to be highly successful in treating cancer on an outpatient basis. Guided by minimally invasive tools and three-dimensional monitors, radiation oncologists and surgeons inject the radioactive seeds directly into the prostate gland through fine needles. This one-time, minimally invasive outpatient procedure is performed under general anesthesia. There is no surgical incision and most patients are able to resume normal activity in two to three days.
 
Treating prostate cancer effectively involves a team approach that includes specialists in urology, radiation oncology, internal medicine and medical oncology. Depending on the size of a patient’s prostate or stage of the disease, and/or urinary symptoms, brachytherapy may be done alone or in combination with other treatments such as external beam radiation or hormone therapy. Unlike major surgery, brachytherapy has minimal impact on daily activities.
 
To learn more about the Prostate Seed Program at AVH, please call 724.226.7380.
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