Prostate Radiotherapy Treatment

Prostate Radiotherapy Treatment

One of the treatments for prostate cancer is Prostate radiotherapy treatment. I went to the doctor to have a check – a prostate check and I took the blood sample and I had a high PSA,  appointments were made for me here at Oxford where I’ve had the gold implants inserted.

Gold marker (fiducial) seeds are implanted into the prostate they’re about the size of a grain of rice so they’re very small and put in with a the little injection. Gold is very dense it shows up very well on our x-rays and allows us to be able to see that so by matching to our gold markers that we can see we know we are exactly where we want to be treating within 2 millimeters.

About 3 to 4 days before a prostate radiotherapy treatment patient comes for their first planning CT scan the patient needs to start getting themselves really well hydrated, we recommend they start drinking about 2 liters of fluid every day, this can be water juice decaffeinated teas or herbal teas we would advise them to reduce how much caffeine and alcohol they are starting to drink as this will cause them to be more dehydrated this will help them throughout the treatment as well whenever a patient has treatment either the CT scan or the radiotherapy treatment they need to have the full bladder and bowel preparation.

The prostate radiotherpay treatment patient should arrive an hour before every one of their appointments You come in on the first day with your letter you stop at the reception desk and report that you’ve arrived they issue you with a card you check yourself in and they know that you’ve arrived.

The bladder and bowel preparation is the same every time you have an enema the micro enema has a little cap that needs to be removed they then need to insert it into the back passage and squeeze it like a tube of toothpaste if they can then hold the tube while they remove it otherwise the gel will get sucked back into the tube some patients do react quicker to micro enema than others we recommend that they try to hold for 10 to 15 minutes but if it works quicker for that patient they can go to the toilet and release themselves as needed after that they need to drink four cups of water and wait for thirty minutes before their CT scan they also need to do this for the radiotherapy appointments.

The idea there is that you empty your bowel and you fill your bladder and this is helpful by lifting parts of the body away from the prostate so that when they give the radiotherapy it hits the prostate and not other parts if patients find they desperately need to go to the bathroom they should come and speak to a member of the radiotherapy team.

We do need them to have a full bladder for their CT scan or their radiotherapy appointment so if they had to go to the bathroom we’d have to start the whole procedure again and they’d have to drink some more water if you can’t wait then obviously you have to go because sometimes the machines are running late and then what you have to do as soon as you’ve gone is notify them that this has happened and drink more water as they’re running late they can probably move somebody forward a little bit and you’ll take their place later down the line when the patient arrives for their CT procedure.

They need to arrive an hour before their appointment time at this point they will see a radiotherapist who will discuss with them what they need to do when you arrive for your pretreatment scan if you just come to the reception and they’ll check you in and let the radiographers know you’ve arrived they’ll talk a bit about what’s going to happen that day and they’ll also give you a chance to ask any questions that you might have thought of since seeing the doctor.

It’s not a diagnostic scan we’re not looking for anything the point of the scan is to see all your insides so we can plan your treatment. The bed you lie on is quite hard you’ll have a cushion under your head under your knees and under your feet these will stay the same every day for your treatment they are used to replicate your position if you’re uncomfortable let us know because there are some things we can do but we need to know before you have your scan.

After the CT scan you’ll be given some permanent radiotherapy tattoo dots they are very tiny you might not be able to see them but they’ll definitely be there the tattoos shouldn’t hurt you’ll just feel the sharp scratch while they are being done on the CT scans where they check the implants and put your tattoos on they also do an ultrasound on your bladder to make sure that your bladder is actually full while they’re doing it we use the tattoo dots in the treatment rooms we have some lasers that come out of the wall which we use to put the center of the lasers in line with your tattoo dots and this is so we know we’re treating the right area before we deliver a radiotherapy treatment.

The patient will have an x-ray taken that allows us to be able to match the patient’s position with their CT scans patient’s position for each day’s treatment and it allows us then to compare the two positions for the gold (fiducial) seeds and the difference between them allows us to adjust for that position each day.

As you enter into the treatment room we will be asking you to confirm your name and date of birth this is because we want to make sure that we are taking the right patient through and also we want to verify we are holding the right paperwork in our hand we ask you to remove your shoes and your trousers you are absolutely fine to wear anything on your top we ask you to leave your underpants on if you are wearing a metal belt we can’t see the fiducial markers (gold seeds) where we want to focus on. that’s the reason we don’t want any metal part in that regio.

You lay on the table pull your underpants down to just a decent level lift your shirt up and they then manoeuvre you on the table to line up on the XY axis and the center lines to get your body in the same position every time for when you have your prostate radiotherapy treatment once you lie down on the bed what you need to do is you need to keep still but breathe normally during your positioning as well as your treatment.

You don’t need to hold your breath for this particular treatment, it’s all mechanica,l it’s very smooth you’re raised up into the air and you hardly even know its moving you know you you’re lying on the bed and somebody speaks at your ear you look to the side the nurses head is level with you so you’ve gone up in the air but you don’t really feel it.

More posts on prostate health, please click below:-



Prostate Cancer UK 



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