Radiation therapy is a procedure where high-energy rays are used to destroy cancer cells.
External Beam Radiotherapy (EBRT) consists of a beam or multiple beams of radiation that can be used for destroying tumors and surrounding cancer cells. It contains high energy photons that target and destroy the cancer cells. The radiation beams are generated from a machine called a linear accelerator. The linear accelerator generates high-energy X-rays or electrons that destroy the tumor cells without touching the skin of the patient or the tumor tissue. Along with the cancer tissues the beam also destroys the surrounding healthy tissues.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is one of the advanced forms of high-precision radiotherapy that radiates high energy photons to destroy the cancer cells. The device uses computer-controlled linear accelerators that deliver radiation doses to a tumor or surrounded tissues of the tumor. It also uses 3D imaging procedure that further helps by providing better three-dimensional image of the tumor during computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance images (MRI). The 3D view of the tumor assists the physician to plan for better calculation of the doses and intensity of the radiation therapy.
Three-dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy
Three-dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D-CRT) is a technique where the beams of rays are shaped to match the tumor and are beamed from several directions. Computers are used to locate and treat the tumor more precisely causing minimal damage to the adjacent tissues.
Brachytherapy, also known as internal radiation therapy, is a technique where pellets of radioactive materials are placed directly into the prostate via a special needle. Low dose or high dose radioactive materials may be used depending on the patient’s conditions and the surgeon’s preference. Low dose materials are left in place where as high dose materials are removed after a few minutes of treatment. Brachytherapy is often combined with external beam radiation given at a lower dose. During brachytherapy as most of the radiation is concentrated at the prostate itself, it spares the adjacent tissues from damage.