"They explained things about my prostate cancer so I could understand them. They are really friendly. Being friendly means a lot when you have cancer."
- Lynn

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Brachytherapy for Prostate Cancer

Gamma West Cancer Services is one of the largest brachytherapy clinics in the United States. Brachytherapy is a type of internal radiation that is used to treat prostate, breast and other cancers. Slim plastic applicators are placed into or near the tumor or tissue. A tiny radiation source is placed inside the applicator later to deliver the treatment. The radiation kills off the bad tissue while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible.

Brachytherapy for prostate cancer is a highly specialized procedure where experience is critical. We have oncologists who have performed thousands of these procedures.

What to Expect

You will have a meeting with your oncologist to get a medical history, exam and imaging. Your doctor will discuss your treatment options, possible side effects and what to expect during and after the procedure.

When you arrive for your treatment, we will take you into a procedure room and help you get comfortable. A combination of regional anesthetic and sedation are used make you as comfortable as possible. Small catheters (small tubes) will be precisely inserted into the prostate and a radiation source will be placed inside them later in the day. You will receive two radiation treatments. The first in the morning soon after the implant procedure, the second approximately five hours later.

During the five hour period of time between radiation treatments, you will be in our Gamma West office. We have our own space at each location where your family is welcome to come and go as they please. You will want to bring a good book to read or an electronic device of your choice to pass the time. Although you get sedation medicine in the morning for the procedure, it will wear off and you will be awake during the five hour period of time. Some patients catch up on their sleep during this time as well. Our nursing staff will constantly be monitoring you and managing your care.

After the second treatment, the catheters will be removed and you will be discharged from the clinic.

If you are being treated by brachytherapy alone, you will return for two more implant procedures separated by two-week breaks. If you are higher risk, you may be treated by external beam radiation for 5 weeks followed by two brachytherapy implants scheduled two weeks apart.

One of the best benefits to brachytherapy is a minimal recovery time. You can get back to doing the things you love to do.