Short-course Treatment for Prostate Cancer (Hypofractionated Radiation)

Lowell General Hospital is one of only a few hospitals in New England offering most men, a prostate cancer diagnosis means weeks of daily radiation treatments and possible surgery. While each case is unique, for men with low-risk cancer that does not require surgery, Lowell General Hospital offers an expedited treatment plan using higher doses of radiation over a shorter period of time, a technique that has shown to be equally effective while providing added convenience for the patient. Using this procedure, called hypofractionation, Lowell General Hospital has successfully reduced treatment time from 9 weeks to 5½ weeks for several prostate cancer patients.

The procedure uses a gel, injected under anesthesia, that separates the prostate from the rectal wall. The gel provides two main advantages: it moves the rectal wall outside of the treatment area, while also providing the radiation oncologist a better view of the prostate on an MRI, allowing for more precise treatment. As a result, irritation of the rectal wall and urethra can be reduced, limiting the risk of irritation and complications like urgency or frequency of urination or bowel movements.

Rectum and Prostate Movement
Reprinted with permission from Augmenix, Inc.

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