Prostate seed implantation is a type of low dose rate brachytherapy — radiation placed inside the body as close as possible to the cancer cells — used for prostate cancer. With prostate seed implantation, you can get a higher total dose of radiation to treat a smaller area and in a shorter time than is possible with external radiation therapy.
Advanced radiation therapy delivered with compassion
Prostate seed implantation is one of the advanced radiation therapy treatments available at Cooper — delivered with compassion. From your first appointment to the completion of your care, we will be there to support you and answer all of your questions.
We treat your cancer aggressively, while minimizing the side effects of radiation therapy. Using a state-of-the-art image-based planning system, we precisely locate your tumor and design treatments with pinpoint accuracy. Then we deliver the most effective dose of radiation to your tumor while sparing as much healthy tissue as possible.
Uses of prostate seed implantation
Prostate seed implantation is used to treat some men with early-stage prostate cancer that is relatively slow growing.
You may also get external radiation therapy along with prostate seed implantation. This is most likely if there is a risk that your cancer has spread outside of the prostate.
How prostate seed implantation works
Prostate seed implantation focuses the radiation in the prostate, causing little radiation damage to the nearby healthy tissue. Small radioactive pellets, called seeds and each about the size of a grain of rice, are placed permanently into your prostate.
The number of seeds used depends on the size of your tumor and your overall health. A radiation physicist and a radiation oncologist decide how many seeds to use and where and how they should be placed.
The seeds are placed inside thin needles, which are inserted through the skin into the prostate. The doctor uses ultrasound images to guide seed placement. This is done in an operating room, using spinal anesthesia (where the lower half of your body is numbed) or general anesthesia (where you’re asleep).
When the needles are removed, the seeds are left in your body. They give off low doses of radiation for weeks or months. Because they are so small, they cause little discomfort. The seeds eventually stop giving off radiation. They don't need to be removed.
Departments Specializing in Prostate Seed Implantation
Departments at Cooper where prostate seed implantation is performed: