Every Man Should Know his Options
Mr. F is a patient with prostate cancer that I treated five years ago with high dose rate brachytherapy. I saw him in routine follow up last week and everything was fine with normal PSA and negative prostate examination. There was no evidence of cancer. He is a commercial airline pilot and a member of the Airline Pilots Association, International. In our conversation he mentioned that in the March issue of Air Line Pilot, the official journal of the Airline Pilots Association, International, there is an article under the Health Watch section entitled “Detecting and Treating Prostate Cancer” and it mentioned High Dose Rate brachytherapy. I asked him to send me a copy of the article for my review. He is a delightful guy, and he sent me the entire magazine with a sticky marking the article. Although I was happy to see that High Dose Rate brachytherapy got equal coverage with external beam radiation and permanent seed implantation in the article I was slightly disappointed that the description of the method was so short. Nevertheless, the last two sentences were right on, “…so the individual has no permanent radiation source as with seed implants. Radiation damage to surrounding healthy tissues is minimized.” Overall, I felt it was a fairly accurate description of High Dose Rate brachytherapy for prostate cancer, and I was glad to see that all the treatment methods are mentioned because it is important that every man knows his options.