Prostate Brachytherapy Side Effects
Side effects of brachytherapy for prostate cancer
The percentage of people who become impotent following brachytherapy is in the range of six to fifty percent. As the brachytherapy treatment leaves nerves intact the use of drugs can be very useful in overcoming any sexual difficulties. Following the brachytherapy seed implants it is recommended to wait at least two weeks before performing any sexual activity. Unfortunately following brachytherapy for prostate cancer a man is likely to be unfertile.
Prostate Brachytherapy Urinary side effects
Other side effects of treatments for prostate cancer:
Most of the side effects associated with brachytherapy are urinary in nature, following the treatment the patient may feel the need to urinate much more frequently than normal for a period of about three months. Whilst other patients may not be able to urinate at all, this is chiefly as a consequence of the prostate swelling following the implant. In the worst cases a patient may require a catheter; however this is usually only required for about seven days. The brachytherapy treatment does not usually result in a complete urinary incontinence, and the overall risk is quite negligible, much less than 1 percent. This is mainly because advances in radiotherapy have led to more accurate procedures and the muscles that control the urinary function does not receive a radioactive dose.
Rectal problems are not a common side effect of prostate brachytherapy; this kind of problem is generally reduced to bowel irritations though in bad cases rectal ulcers can occur.
Other brachytherapy side effects include the migration of brachytherapy seeds out of the prostate; it is recommended that the urine be filtered so that any rogue seeds can be recovered.