External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) is the most common form of radiation therapy and is recommended as a treatment option for many types of cancer. At the Austin Center for Radiation Oncology, we specialize in the treatment of prostate cancer. In addition, we treat testicular cancer, bladder cancer, and prostate cancer that has spread to the bone. We also use radiation therapy to treat men with hormone induced enlargement of the breasts, known as gynecomastia.
Radiation therapy is a good option for cancer treatment under specific circumstances. It may be used as the primary cancer treatment, or in conjunction with other methods of treatment, including chemotherapy and surgery.
When is radiation therapy recommended?
Radiation therapy recommended by your provider in the following circumstances:
- As the primary treatment for cancer that is localized (contained within the prostate gland or organ).
- After surgery to ensure that any remaining cancer cells are destroyed in surrounding tissue, and to help avoid cancer recurrence (adjuvant therapy).
- At the same time as other treatments such as chemotherapy or hormone deprivation therapy.
- For symptoms management such as pain from metastatic cancer (cancer that has spread outside the primary site of origin).
- Radiation may be used to shrink a tumor prior to surgery (neoadjuvant therapy).
Who is a candidate for radiation therapy?
The goal of radiation therapy is to stop or slow the growth of cancer while minimizing damage to healthy surrounding tissue. Radiation may be used alone or in combination with other treatments such as chemotherapy or surgery. When considering radiation therapy, the patient and the doctor should consider multiple factors. These factors include:
- If the cancer is contained within the organ or has moved to other parts of the body (metastasized).
- The age and general health of the patient.
- Has the patient undergone previous radiation therapy?
- Is the patient available to attend daily treatments?