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Radioactive Seeds used in Prostate Cancer treatment can migrate with the body

In a shocking disclosure, Dr. Murali Ankem, a resident in Urology at the Robert Wood Johnnson Medical Centre of the University of New Jersey Medical and Dental School, New Brunswick, has said that radiactive seeds used in prostate cancer treatment can migrate to other parts of the body including the lungs.

In a procedure called Brachytherapy, tiny metal pellets are implanted in and around the prostate gland. The radiation emitted by these pellets destory cancer cells. But at times these pellets can erode through blood vessels and enter other areas of the body. In more than 35% of the cases, these pellets end up in the lungs, causing increased risk of radiation to the patients. These findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association.

As a precautionary measure in such patients, chest x-rays should be taken every year to make sure no lesions developed. Almost 25% of patients studied had developed these complications.

Bracytherapy, though widely adviced, still remains a controversial treatment in the eyes of many cancer specialists.

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