What Is The Difference Between External Beam Radiation Therapy And Seed Implant Therapy?

Dr. Kuettel answers the question: 'External Beam Vs. Seed Implant Therapy?

March 16, 2009 -- Question: What is the difference between external beam radiation therapy and seed implant therapy?

Answer: Patients with early-stage prostate cancer have many different options regarding definitive treatment. From a radiation perspective, the two major options include either external beam radiation or internal beam radiation which we call brachytherapy or seed implant.

The major differences between the two is with external beam, radiation treatment is delivered through linear accelerators coursing through the body specifically focusing on the prostate itself. With brachytherapy or seed implant, small radioactive seeds are placed within the prostate itself, giving localized radiation in that fashion.