Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that starts within the prostate gland. This gland wraps around the urethra and makes up part of the male reproductive system.
According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. Prostate cancer usually occurs in older men, with an average age of 66 at the time of diagnosis.
Some doctors are trying new options for treating prostate cancer, including a treatment called brachytherapy.
During this procedure, a "pellet" the size of a grain of rice is filled with iodine 125, which is a radioactive agent that is inserted in the prostate to kill off the cancerous cells. The benefit of this procedure is that it reduces the radiation exposure to healthy tissue.
The seed implantation is used primarily in men that show early stages of prostate cancer that is slow-growing.
This form of treatment is typically tolerated well, with very few side effects. Patients are able to return to work and normal activities within just a few days after the procedure.
How long will this seed be inside your prostate?
The radioactive material inside the seeds will decay about two months after the procedure, but the rest of the seeds will stay within the prostate forever.
What else should you know about brachytherapy?
Dr. Robert Murray joins Melanie Cole, MS, to discuss prostate cancer, the process of screening for prostate cancer, and the seed implant that could very well save your life.