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Prostate Brachytherapy

One of every three men diagnosed with cancer in the United States each year learns he has prostate cancer. It is the second most common type of cancer among U.S. men. Only skin cancer is diagnosed more often.

A common method of radiation therapy for prostate cancer involves brachytherapy, or seed implants. Brachytherapy implants are tiny radioactive seeds about the size of a grain of rice that are permanently implanted into the prostate gland. The seeds gradually lose their radioactivity over time and do not need to be removed.

Memorial's Regional Cancer Center began offering brachytherapy seed implants in May 1999, and we have provided this treatment to more than 1,500 patients. Our radiation oncologists tailor each brachytherapy implant to the individual patient.

The late Thomas G. Shanahan, MD, was instrumental in developing Memorial's brachytherapy program. The program was highlighted at the 94th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, held in Chicago in December 2008. At that meeting, Dr. Shanahan and his colleagues showed the results for 449 patients having prostate implants over a six-year period. The combination of using a Hybrid Interactive Mick Applicator (prostate seed implant equipment) and real-time image guidance resulted in excellent patient outcomes without excessive use of treatment planning and operating room time.

To make an appointment or to have your doctor refer you to a radiation oncologist, please call the Regional Cancer Center at 217-788-3260.