The ETMC Cancer Institute was the first facility in East Texas
to offer transrectal, ultrasound-guided prostate brachytherapy. In
a one-day procedure, small radioactive seeds are very accurately
placed inside the prostate gland to give direct, high doses of
radiation to the prostate tumor.
Because the radiation only goes where it is needed, side effects
are mild. Patients go home the same day and resume their normal
activities within a few days. The ETMC Cancer Institute's radiation
oncologist, teamed with a specially trained group of urologists,
carefully evaluates each case and discusses treatment options, with
surgery or longer courses of radiation therapy sometimes
The Prostate Gland
The prostate gland is located at the base of the penis just
below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It produces the fluid
that transports semen during ejaculation. The size and shape of the
prostate gland varies considerably, but it is usually about two to
three inches in diameter.
Cancer of the prostate, like other cancers, is a disease of the
body's cells. All cells reproduce themselves by dividing. Normal
growth and repair of the tissue takes place in this orderly manner.
Cancer is a kind of abnormal growth that may invade and destroy
nearby tissues and organs or spread to other parts of the body.
Cancer may arise in any part of the prostate gland but is most
commonly found in the outer portions. It is more common in older
men. Like most forms of cancer, prostate cancer is curable if it is
How Does Radiation Kill Cancer?
In order to kill cancer, the physicians place radioactive
"seeds" into the prostate gland. These radioactive seeds (either
Iodine 125 or Palladium 103) give low energy X-rays which destroy
the cancer in the prostate but leave the rest of the body
The radioactive seeds are about the size of a grain of rice.
Typically, the physician will place about 70 to 150 of the seeds.
The exact location depends on the actual size of the prostate
gland. Even though the cancer is visible in a portion of the gland,
there may be tiny amounts of cancer throughout the prostate. For
this reason, the entire gland is treated.
Call 903-595-5550 for more information.