Prostate Ca patients maintain sexual, urinary function after brachytherapy

July 21, 2005

Men receiving low-dose rate brachytherapy to combat early-stage prostate cancer are still able to achieve an erection and face a low rate of incontinence 1 year post-treatment, according to a study published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics (2005; 62:956-64).

Men receiving low-dose rate brachytherapy to combat early-stage prostate cancer are still able to achieve an erection and face a low rate of incontinence 1 year post-treatment, according to a study published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics (2005; 62:956-64).

The study included 98 men who were given three separate health-related quality-of-life questionnaires a total of five times before, during, and after undergoing brachytherapy to evaluate the effects of treatment, especially sexual and urinary function.

One year after treatment, 78% of the men were able to achieve an erection, although nearly 50% experienced some loss of sexual function. Although the overall rate of incontinence was 1%, some men experienced difficulty urinating at the 1-year mark, according to the researchers, led by Steven J. Feigenberg, MD, of Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia.

"This study has provided us with valuable data that will help radiation oncologists better address possible side effects patients may have after receiving seed implants for prostate cancer," Dr. Feigenberg said.