What Is Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), And When Is It Used To Treat Prostate Cancer?

Dr. Horwitz answers the question: 'What Is Intensity Modulated Radiation?'

Jan. 01, 2009 -- Question: What is Intensity Modulated Radiation therapy (IMRT), and when is it used to treat prostate cancer?

Answer: IMRT or intensity modulated radiation therapy is the most sophisticated technique we have available for delivering external beam radiation. IMRT gives us the ability to give very high doses of radiation to the prostate while limiting the dose to the surrounding structures -- the bladder and the rectum -- thereby giving men fewer side effects.

The side effects of IMRT include irritation of the bladder, irritation of the rectum, more frequent urination, more frequent bowel movements, tiredness and some long-term side effects including difficulty with erections. The ability for us to deliver very high doses of radiation using IMRT gives us a better chance of curing your prostate cancer.