Radiotherapy, also known as radiation therapy, is a common treatment modality used in the management of urological cancers. It involves the use of high-energy rays to target and destroy cancer cells, either from an external source (external beam radiation therapy) or from a radioactive material implanted near the tumor (brachytherapy).
Indications for Radiotherapy in Urological Cancer:
- Prostate Cancer: Radiotherapy is commonly used in the treatment of prostate cancer, either as a primary treatment option for localized disease or as a post-surgery (radical prostatectomy) adjuvant or salvage treatment for recurrent or high-risk disease. It can be delivered as external beam radiation therapy or brachytherapy, depending on the stage and location of the tumor.
- Bladder Cancer: Radiotherapy may be used as a primary treatment option for bladder cancer in certain cases where surgery is not feasible, or as a part of bladder preservation strategies along with chemotherapy (chemoradiation) for muscle-invasive disease. It can be delivered as external beam radiation therapy or brachytherapy, depending on the stage and location of the tumor.
- Kidney Cancer: Radiotherapy is not commonly used as a primary treatment for kidney cancer, but it may be considered in certain cases, such as for palliation of pain or symptoms in advanced or metastatic disease, or as part of a multimodal treatment approach in combination with surgery or other systemic therapies.
Types of Radiotherapy for Urological Cancer:
- External Beam Radiation Therapy: In external beam radiation therapy, high-energy rays are generated from a machine outside the body and directed towards the tumor site. The radiation is carefully planned and delivered to minimize the exposure of healthy tissues and organs surrounding the tumor. It is typically delivered in multiple sessions (fractions) over several weeks.
- Brachytherapy: Brachytherapy, also known as internal radiation therapy, involves the placement of radioactive material directly into or near the tumor. It can be delivered using different techniques, such as permanent seed implants or temporary catheter-based techniques. Brachytherapy allows for the delivery of high doses of radiation directly to the tumor while sparing nearby healthy tissues.
Recovery after Radiotherapy:
The recovery after radiotherapy depends on the type, dose, and duration of treatment, as well as the patient's overall health. Common side effects of radiotherapy may include fatigue, skin changes, urinary or bowel changes, and sexual dysfunction, which are typically temporary and resolve after treatment completion. Close monitoring, symptom management, and follow-up with the healthcare team are important aspects of the recovery process.
The Department of Uro-Oncology at Sterling Hospitals offers advanced radiotherapy services for urological cancers, including prostate cancer, bladder cancer, and kidney cancer. The experienced radiation oncologists work closely with other members of the multidisciplinary team to develop personalized treatment plans, deliver precise and targeted radiation therapy, manage side effects, and provide comprehensive care to patients throughout their treatment journey. State-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge technology, and a patient-centric approach ensure the best possible outcomes for uro-oncology patients.