Patients & Families
Reduced Rectal Radiation = Fewer Complications
If you or a loved one has prostate cancer you may be considering the various options for treatment. But before we start that discussion, we invite you to listen to the story of a patient that faced the same decision:
One common and proven prostate cancer treatment option is radiation therapy. Radiation targeting the cancer from outside of the body, or placed inside the prostate as radioactive seeds, kills the cancer cells.
As with any treatment, radiation therapy is not without potential side effects. Possible side effects include injury to the rectum and problems with bowel movements. Side effects may occur for years after radiation treatment.
Potential Side Effects Due to Prostate Radiation Treatment:
- Rectal Bleeding
- Mucus Discharge
- Rectal Pain
- Rectal Urgency
If present, these side effects are often temporary for many men. But some men have symptoms that persist for years and that require treatment or, in rare circumstances, surgery to improve bowel function.
Since the prostate and the rectum sit next to each other, some prostate radiation can injure the rectum, causing complications.
SpaceOAR hydrogel provides about 1 cm (1/2 inch) of extra space between the prostate and the rectum, significantly reducing the radiation dose to the rectum. Also, movement of the rectum and prostate during radiation treatment further increases the potential for harmful rectal radiation. The SpaceOAR System helps avoid rectal injury in this case as well.
After radiation treatment is over the hydrogel completely absorbs, leaving nothing behind.