Prostate Cancer Follow Up
Post-Implant Instructions and Guidelines
Follow-up appointments with your urologist and radiation oncologist for PSA tests and visits will need to be made according to their recommendations. This information will be included on your post implant guidelines. After your implant, an X-ray will be performed at CPCC before you go home. The X-Ray is for immediate verification of seed accountability and placement. A CT scan of your pelvis will need to be performed on a day following your implant; typically 30 days post implant. You may return back to CPCC for the CT scan. The CT scan is necessary and used to perform the post-plan, which calculates the final radiation dose the prostate gland received. This is not a diagnostic CT scan and you will not receive results, the information is used for the physicist calculations of your seed implant. One of our nurses will call you the day after your implant to check on your progress and answer any questions.
Activity and Diet
- You will be instructed not to drive a vehicle for 24 hours after your implant because you have received anesthesia.
- Heavy lifting (over 10-15 pounds) and straining, bicycle riding and horseback riding should be avoided for 2 weeks to prevent any bleeding.
- You may bathe or shower any time after your implant.
- You may return to your regular diet.
Medications that may be prescribed after your implant include an antibiotic, anti-inflammatory medication and a medication to help improve urinary flow. Which medications you receive is dependent on your individual doctor’s orders and will be determined after your implant. Please note that these prescriptions will need to be filled and the medications started the day of your implant.
Patients do not usually experience any type of severe pain from this procedure. Mild discomfort or a burning sensation can occur. The application of an ice bag to the perineum (area between scrotum and anus) for 20 minutes every 2 hours for the first 24 hours and a mild pain reliever, such as Tylenol, should relieve any discomfort.
Implant Side Effects
After a seed implant, you may experience some irritative urinary symptoms such as burning or notice some blood in the urine. Most bleeding usually resolves within 48 hours. If it should persist beyond that, notify your doctor. Other common urinary symptoms are: frequency (a need to urinate more often), urgency (a strong desire to urinate), a decreased force of the urinary stream and difficulty starting the urinary stream. Rarely, a complete blockage may occur. If this should happen, you will need to see your doctor or go to the emergency room to have a catheter placed in your bladder to allow urine to flow. Urinary side effects are temporary. In most cases, they resolve in a few weeks to a few months. Rectal symptoms are relatively uncommon.
You will be given specific radiation safety instructions upon discharge from CPCC. One reason brachytherapy is considered an all-around successful treatment is that its radiation effectively destroys the cancerous cells within the prostate, but poses no risk of radiation exposure to family, pets or the general public. In fact, the amount of radiation a wife would receive in one year from her husband who underwent the procedure is the same amount she would absorb from living in Denver for three to four months.
AVERAGE RADIATION EXPOSURE Chest X-Ray 0.20 mSv/procedure Daily Salt Substitute (KCI) Use For 1 Year 0.10 mSv/year Air Travel (Round Trip: New York City to San Francisco) 0.12 mSv/trip Air Travel (Round Trip: Los Angeles to Tokyo) 0.20 mSv/trip Average Internal Source (40K, 16C, 87 Rb) 0.25-0.35 mSv/year Average Background Exposure: U.S. Citizen (All Sources) 3.60 mSv/year Additional Environmental and Cosmic Exposure: Denver vs. St. Louis >1.20 mSv/year Lifetime Exposure From Patient With I125 Prostate Implant 0.10 (0.04-0.55) mSv