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(Seed Implant Therapy)

Brachytherapy (brachys, from the Greek word for brief or short) refers to cancer treatment using electromagnetic radiation delivered by way of radioactive material placed a short distance from, or within, the tumor.

In prostate cancer, brachytherapy is a minimally invasive procedure whereby the physician implants tiny permanent radioactive seeds (about the size of a grain of rice) into the prostate where they irradiate the cancer from inside the gland. The implanted seeds are so small that they are not felt by a patient afterward. Brachytherapy is also referred to as interstitial radiation therapy or seed implant therapy.

Side effects and discomfort are minimal and the entire procedure usually takes less than an hour. For most patients this is an outpatient procedure and they go home the same day, returning to normal activities a few days later.