Radiation therapy can be used at all stages of prostate cancer. There are many ways to destroy malignant tumors using radiation. In German clinics, the doctors use modern methods for fighting against oncological diseases. These include external beam radiotherapy, brachytherapy, stereotactic radiosurgery.
When do patients require radiation therapy?
The prostate cancer patients may undergo irradiation in the following cases:
1. As the first and sometimes the only treatment of prostate cancer in its initial detection and if it is a small tumor. In this case, the results of radiation therapy are comparable to the results of surgery. Nonetheless, the technique can be used only in the case of a low cancer aggressiveness (this is the majority of clinical cases, prostate cancer relatively rarely may have high malignancy).
2. As one of several treatments for inoperable cancer. It makes no sense to perform surgery, if the tumor has spread beyond the pelvis and gave distant metastases. It bears many risks and cannot cure the patient completely. Therefore, the doctors use radiation, targeted therapy, hormone treatment, chemotherapy, radionuclide therapy and other methods.
3. Cancer recurrence after surgical removal. The doctors will not perform a repeated intervention. The tumor that is getting bigger will be irradiated in order to shrink it and slows down its growth rate.
4. As a palliative care for advanced cancer (stage 4 cancer). It cannot prolong the patient’s life, but it will reduce the symptoms. It may also delay the occurrence of kidney failure and other complications.
What types of radiation therapy are offered in German clinics?
German clinics are well equipped. They use modern methods of irradiation, which allow for:
- increased dose of radiation for the tumor and improvement of the effectiveness of therapy;
- reduced dose of radiation for the healthy tissues, which reduces the risk of complications and improves the tolerability of therapy.
Radiation therapy is usually applied in combination with other methods. Depending on the stage of cancer, it can be used in combination with chemotherapy, targeted therapy and other methods.
Below you can see the types of irradiation used in Germany:
External beam radiotherapy. It is similar to x-ray, but the radiation dose is higher. German hospitals use such innovative methods as 3D conformal, (3D-CRT), intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), as well as its more advanced type – volumetric modulated arc radiotherapy (VMAT).
Brachytherapy. It is often used to suppress metastasis. Radioactive seeds are introduced into the metastatic foci. Some of them give a weak radiation for a long time and thus suppress the tumor, while others are used for only a few days and give a higher dose of radiation.
Radiosurgery. This technique has nothing to do with conventional surgery. It applies precisely directed large doses of radiation to destroy small tumors (CyberKnife, Gamma Knife). Protons can be used instead of X-ray beams. This method is more accurate and safe, but the cost of treatment is higher. However, the doctors in Germany also use proton therapy, and financially well-off patients can benefit from this option.
Proton therapy. Proton therapy can be used to treat prostate cancer, particularly for patients with localized disease. It is considered to be a safe and effective treatment option with fewer side effects than traditional radiation therapy. For advanced or stage 4 prostate cancer, the use of proton therapy may depend on several factors, including the size and location of the tumor, the extent of metastasis, and the patient's overall health. In some cases, proton therapy for stage 4 cancer may be used as a primary treatment, especially if the cancer is still localized to the prostate gland. If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones or lymph nodes, proton therapy may be used as a palliative treatment to relieve symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.
Which hospitals can offer treatment?
To reduce the size of the tumor, reduce the risk of recurrence and eliminate symptoms, one can undergo radiation therapy in German clinics. Booking Health can arrange for you treatment in any medical facility, which uses the most advanced methods to fight cancers. Here are some examples:
University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden. When fighting against cancer, the Department of Radiation Therapy, Radiation Oncology and Proton Therapy uses the very latest technologies. It treats at least 2,300 cancer patients every year. The treatment can be provided both on an inpatient and outpatient basis. If irradiation is combined with chemotherapy and targeted therapy, the patient needs hospitalization.
University Hospital heidelberg. The Department of Adult and Pediatric Radiation Therapy, Ion Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology treats patients using heavy ions and proton therapy, which destroy tumor foci, even hard-to-reach ones, but at the same time do minimal harm to the healthy tissues. This is one of the most advanced Departments of Radiation Therapy in Europe. There are continuously conducted clinical trials, developed new treatments for prostate cancer.
University Hospital Frankfurt-am-Main. The Department of Radiation Therapy and Oncology is considered one of the best in Germany. The doctors work in close cooperation with other departments of the hospital, which deal with surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy. The combination of these medical methods can help to cure cancer or extend the patient’s life as much as possible.
In Germany, if desired, patients can participate in clinical trials, which are held here continuously. The tested treatment methods are often more successful than those that have already been introduced into wide clinical practice.
Arrangement of treatment
To undergo treatment in German medical centers, contact Booking Health specialists. Our services and benefits include:
- Selection of the best German clinic, which specializes in prostate cancer treatment, successfully combines radiation with targeted therapy, surgery and other techniques.
- Reduced treatment costs due to the lack of extra charges and coefficients for foreign patients.
- Preparation of the treatment program without repeating previously completed studies.
- Establishment of communication with the attending physician.
- Arrangement of an appointment with the doctor at the most suitable dates for the patient.
- Control of the program at all its stages.
- Control of invoices and return of unspent funds.
- Assistance in buying and forwarding medications.
- Opportunity to participate in clinical trials of the very latest treatments for prostate cancer.
- Communication with the hospital upon treatment completion.
- Organization of additional methods for the diagnostics and treatment of prostate cancer.
Booking Health provides quality services. We will book airline tickets and a hotel for you, provide a transfer from the airport to the clinic and back.