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Prostate Cancer

The most common cancer that affects men in the United States is Prostate Cancer.  In their lifetime, one in nine men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.  With appropriate PSA and MRI-based screening, many of these cancers are found at an early stage where there are many treatment options, including advanced radiation therapy called IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) and SBRT (Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy).  


Coastal Radiation Oncology has the latest technology allowing precise treatments meant to maximize both cure and quality of life. The technology we use and the number of treatments depends on how advanced the tumor is (stage) and what type of symptoms you have (if any). 


If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, click the link below to request a consultation with one of our expert radiation oncologists. 

  • Typical Treatments

    When the disease is limited to inside the prostate only, the most common treatments are surgery (prostatectomy) and radiation therapy (IMRT/SBRT).  Because the prostate cancer is very commonly distributed throughout the entire gland, both surgery and radiation therapy are designed to treat the entire prostate.  


    The main difference between surgery and radiation therapy is that surgery requires admission to a hospital, a urinary catheter, and some downtime to recover.  It is also important to say that while surgery can be very effective at treating prostate cancer, it is also common that radiation therapy must be used after surgery when the disease is found outside of the gland (which sometimes cannot be seen at the time of diagnosis).


    Radiation therapy differs from surgery in that there are repeated sessions of invisible X-ray energy sessions aimed at the prostate that are given over a period of six to eight weeks.  There is a shorter version of the treatment called SBRT that only certain men are eligible for that is given in just five treatment sessions.  For more advanced disease, hormone blocking medicine can be required along with radiation therapy to make it more effective.


    Both surgery and radiation therapy have short and long-term side effects.  Please make sure to talk with both a urologist and radiation oncologist about the side effects that can occur with these treatments.


    For information about the types of technology available through Coastal Radiation Oncology 


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  • What To Expect

    Once your doctors have determined that radiation therapy may be part of the treatment plan for your Prostate Cancer, there will be a few steps to allow the radiation oncology team to begin treatment safely. 


    These include:


     - CT simulation
     - Treatment plan design (dosimetry)

     - Verification

     - Start of daily treatments

     - Weekly doctor visits with your radiation oncologist

  • Side Effects

    Short term:


    Side effects are typically temporary and usually go away shortly after treatment ends. Below is a list of possible side effects you might notice during your treatment.

    More likely

    • Urinary frequency/urgency

    • Straining to urinate

    • Fatigue

    • Loose stools/diarrhea

    • Rectal urgency


    Less likely

    • Blood in stool

    • Blood in urine

    • Skin redness/irritation

    • Hair loss (in the treated area)


    Long term:


    After the short-term side effects of radiation therapy resolve, others may become noticeable months or years later.

    More likely

    • Erectile dysfunction (temporary or permanent)

    • Urinary frequency/urgency

    • Rectal urgency

    • Loose stools/diarrhea

    • Rectal bleeding


    Less likely

    • Blood in urine

    • urethral stricture

  • More Information

    For more information about the diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer, please visit the following websites:

     RT Answers

    American Cancer Society


    Prostate Cancer Foundation

    Zero Cancer 

Coastal Radiation Oncology Medical Center

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