New prostate treatment eases painful side-effects

July 1st, 2008 - 2:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, July 1 (IANS) A new treatment for prostate cancer will ease painful side-effects and help males maintain their sexual function after they are afflicted by the condition. The Princess Alexandra Hospital here will provide males with the opportunity to undergo this alternative form of radiation therapy as one of five cancer referral centres across the country.

The new therapy directly targets the intended area after prostate surgery, thereby reducing radiation on the surrounding tissue.

It also helps eliminate side-effects of pain and inflammation around the rectum and bladder area and the possibility of reduced sexual function caused by traditional radiation therapy.

The technology is also expected to reduce the time patients spend in hospital.

Evert Klaasen from Gayndah in Queensland was one of the first patients to receive the new treatment this week.

“Having radiation therapy can be intimidating at first but all of the great staff and the knowledge that I’ve got access to the best technology have put my mind at rest,” Klaasen said.

“It’s fantastic to be part of this new treatment and I feel comfortable knowing that the machine is targeting the exact area, meaning only the area that needs treatment will receive the radiation.”

This targeted treatment is only available since the opening of a new linear accelerator machine at the hospital last December which has revolutionised the way breast cancer is treated by reducing the need to undergo mastectomy.

The new equipment is upgraded with Image Guided Radiotherapy, which involves the production of high-resolution images of the anatomy surrounding a tumour, allowing for more accurate targeting of radiation treatment.

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