Radiation therapy for prostate cancer: consequences and efficacy
The disease spares no one, cancer is one of the most serious. If you do not go to the doctor on time, you can have big problems. Then only medicines can not be dispensed with. We will have to resort to cardinal actions, which include radiation therapy. In prostate cancer, the consequences are unpredictable. We will now talk about this, but first. ..
What is radiation therapy
This is an effective and appropriate treatment for oncological pathologies, which include prostate cancer. It is based on ionizing radiation, it acts purposefully, destroys only diseased cells, healthy cells are not exposed to it.
Mechanism of action:
- Emission of ions is directed to the location of molecules containing water and tumor cells.
- After the beam hit, hydrogen peroxide and free radicals appear in them.
- The obtained products block the work of diseased cells, their growth and reproduction.
Treatment of prostate cancer with radiation therapy is also based on the fact that the activity of radicals and hydrogen peroxide depends on the metabolism. The higher it is, the tumor feeds more actively, which, in turn, leads to an increase in the harmful effects of radiation on it.
This method of treatment is used at all stages of the disease, regardless of the area of organ damage and the spread of metastases. In addition, radiation therapy is effectively used after the removal of prostate cancer as a preventive and therapeutic agent.
Radiation directed at cancer cells is divided into two types:
- wave - based on gamma radiation and X-rays;
- corpuscular method is a proton therapy, which includes: electron radiation, alpha and beta particles, neutron and proton radiation.
There are three ways to influence radiation therapy on a malignant tumor:
Varieties of procedure
Currently, several types of radiation therapy for prostate cancer, the consequences and effectiveness of treatment depend on the form of the disease:
- Conformal. Applicable in the event that there is a need for complete and uniform irradiation of the pathogen tumor. A 3D image of the formation is created. This takes into account all tissues and organs that are nearby. Radiation ions affect only the cancer cells, undamaged organs and tissues remain intact.
- With modulated intensity. The ray that goes to the tumor is divided into several smaller ones. The strength of each of the radial fluxes is programmed. In this regard, healthy areas of the prostate receive a small dose of radiation, while the pathogenic cells are the main effect.
- Proton. Experts believe that this method is most effective in prostate cancer. Protons only affect diseased cells, but not with all forms of cancer this procedure is prescribed.
- Neutron. Used in the event that other methods did not help.
Remote irradiation of
The peculiarities of this type of irradiation are that during a session it is destructive not only for diseased cells, but also for healthy ones. The procedure uses a special apparatus, it helps to regulate the wavelength, which contributes to the maximum possible reduction in the effect of rays on a healthy area.
This equipment is highly accurate, and only a trained technician can work with it. If the device is used incorrectly, the patient may not improve his condition, but, conversely, worsen it.
First the examination is performed, after which the tumor is placed in three dimensions, and then the doctor tries to direct the radio waves to it.
Remote radiation therapy for prostate cancer is performed every day or according to a schedule compiled by the attending physician for seven to eight weeks.
Distance therapy, in turn, is divided into two types: fixed and mobile.
The first view is as follows:
- Patients are placed in one particular position.
- Direct the source of radiation on it( it is also stationary).
Second view, mobile:
- Move the radiation source.
- Direct it to a tumor of the prostate, the device moves around the patient and acts on the cancer cells from all sides.
Sometimes, when using this method, a short break in treatment is required.
Interstitial method( brachytherapy)
An effective treatment for cancer is brachytherapy. The most successful method is if the tumor is located within the prostate gland. The essence of it is as follows: with the help of a special needle, a radioactive substance is introduced into the tumor. Iodine-125 is used as a substance. The procedure is controlled by ultrasound.
Depending on how the capsules containing the radioactive substance are located, brachytherapy is divided into:
After the procedure the patient is hospitalized for 24 hours. Relief comes in a few days. The radioactive substance disintegrates in the body for two months. During this time, cancer cells die.
The main advantage of brachytherapy - radiation affects only the damaged cells, the healthy ones remain untouched. That's why after this procedure less complications develop than after the remote irradiation.
Proton method and adjuvant therapy
This is one of the non-invasive types of radiation therapy that helps to get rid of prostate cancer. This method is based on the precise effect of radiation on the pathogenic point formed in the gland. Due to the fact that the dose is distributed accurately, all forms of cancer are completely cured. There are no side effects.
The next method is an adjuvant radiotherapy for prostate cancer. It is used as:
- is a supplement to surgical intervention.
The aim of this therapy is the destruction of the secondary tumor.
This method has an effect on the spread of cancer cells and their growth. The energy of powerful radiation can kill diseased cells that have remained after the operation. This increases the effectiveness of treatment. Depending on the desired purpose, internal or external radiation is used. It is sent to the site of tumor formation, the risk of recurrence of oncology in this area is reduced.
Most commonly used such radiation therapy for prostate cancer. The consequences of the disease in this case reach the fourth stage. The palliative view is aimed at alleviating the patient's condition. External radiation therapy helps to reduce the tumor and pain and involves the following activities:
- To remove symptoms of the disease, surgery is performed, transurethral resection of the prostate. Thanks to palliative treatment, it is possible to reduce the development of the disease.
- This type of radiotherapy is prescribed in conjunction with hormonal drugs at the last stage of prostate cancer. This exercise reduces the pain syndrome, eliminates the side effects of cancer cells.
- If localized prostate cancer is detected, the ultrasound ablation technique, which also applies to palliative therapy, is used. It helps to eliminate the side effects of the disease.
Consequences of radiation therapy
Although the introduction of new techniques can reduce the negative sensations after the procedure, but still it is radiation therapy. In prostate cancer, the consequences after it still exist:
- There are problems with the rectum. There may be diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome. Over time, these troubles go away.
- Questions arise related to bladder function and urination. The patient suffers from frequent urination, burning during it and the presence of blood in the urine. These troubles after a while pass.
- Development of impotence and erectile dysfunction. The incidence of these problems is the same as after surgery. But there is a difference: after the operation, impotence develops immediately, and after irradiation - gradually, within a year.
- After radiation therapy was used for prostate cancer( reviews of patients who underwent this procedure, confirm this), at first, there is constant fatigue and fatigue. This state persists for a couple of months.
- Outflow of lymph is disturbed. This is the cause of edema of the lower extremities.
- Narrowing of the urethra. Sometimes the urethra is damaged, the outflow of urine is disturbed.
How to behave during the treatment of
Many people are worried about the question: what to expect after radiotherapy for prostate cancer has been performed? Its effectiveness depends on the following rules:
- During the procedure the food should be not only high-calorie, but also full. The diet should include all vitamins and trace elements. Be sure to observe the drinking regime( up to three liters of liquid per day).
- Refuse from smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Clothing should be loose, light, made from natural fabrics. It is desirable to keep the irradiation zones open. When entering the street, they must be protected from the sun.
- Do not use soap and other cosmetics. When taking a shower, remember the marks on the body.
- If you experience redness, itching, sweating, consult your doctor.
- Regular walks in the fresh air, appropriate physical activity, strong and full sleep - this is another step towards getting rid of the disease.
Life after radiation therapy
Recovery begins immediately after the end of irradiation sessions. It includes such moments:
- rest during the day;
- high-grade dream;
- sparing mode;
- emotional state;
- correct and adequate nutrition;
- rejection of all bad habits.
During this period, it is very important to help not only the doctor, but also native people.
Since the treatment is not yet complete, you will have to go to procedures and research, the emotional state in this regard often changes. The main thing in this period is not to shut yourself up, communicate with friends and relatives. Try to observe the usual rhythm of life, do not give up household chores. If you are a little tired, lie down and rest.
If you work, ask the management to at least temporarily transfer you to easy work. It is best, of course, to take a vacation for the period of rehabilitation.
If all the doctor's recommendations are followed, then the rehabilitation period will pass calmly, quickly and easily.
The effectiveness of the
procedure At different stages the results are different:
- Irradiation in the first stage can replace surgical intervention, healthy organs and tissues remain intact.
- After prostatectomy radiotherapy is used for prostate cancer. The consequences after the operation in this case become minimal, since the pathogenic cells are destroyed.
- In the late stages of the disease, irradiation reduces pain syndrome.
Your health is in your hands. Try to visit a doctor on a regular basis. He will observe the course of the disease and, at the slightest deterioration, prescribe treatment.