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Ask the Expert: Prostate Cancer Treatment

Prostate Cancer Treatment

When it comes to prostate cancer treatment there are a variety of options. Thomas Richardson, M.D., urologist at Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa, discusses those options and what sets the Nassif Community Cancer Center apart in regard to prostate cancer treatment in the area:

What Are the Five Options for Prostate Cancer Treatment?

Treatment options for prostate cancer are somewhat complex in that it depends upon the patient’s age, Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) and biopsy findings including the Gleason grade. In general, we discuss treatment options for the patient which include:

  1. Active surveillance/watchful waiting
  2. Surgical removal of the prostate
  3. External beam radiation therapy
  4. Low dose rate prostate brachytherapy
  5. Cryo-oblation of the prostate or a combination of treatments

How Do You Determine Which Option is Right for the Patient?

Determining the best option for the patient is a complex process that involves reviewing the statistics as they relate to the likelihood that the prostate cancer is confined to the prostate. This includes analyzing PSA, biopsy findings including the Gleason grade, potentially an MRI of the prostate, as well as factoring in the patient’s age and other comorbidities. We also follow national guidelines put out by our professional organizations.

What Are the Advantages of Brachytherapy Treatment?

Brachytherapy, which involves implantation of permanent Radioactive seeds into the prostate has several aspects that some patients find and advantageous. Most notably, it does not require surgical removal of the prostate, an inpatient hospital stay or catheter drainage after the procedure and has a very low likelihood of urinary incontinence after the procedure.

The treatment is accomplished by two separate short procedures which involves a volume study typically done with a light anesthetic, followed by the definitive implant that is done under general anesthesia, lasting approximately 60-90 minutes. Patients can return to normal activity with minimal limitations in a very short period of time.

Hear From Our Experts

Brachytherapy for Prostate Cancer


Dr. Thomas Richardson, urologist at Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa Urology, joins Dr. Arnold to discuss brachytherapy treatment for men with early stage prostate cancer.

Who is a Candidate for Brachytherapy?

Brachytherapy is a common treatment option for men with early stage prostate cancer. For patients who are a candidate, we have a detailed discussion with them about treatment options so they can decide which approach is right for them.

What sets the Nassif Community Cancer Center Apart from Other Cancer Centers in Regard to Prostate Cancer Treatment?

What sets us apart is a very collaborative effort between Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa Urology and the radiation oncology team at St. Luke’s Nassif Radiation Center. We do what is best for the patient. We are one of the only centers offering low dose radiation with Cesium-131 and one of the few places performing brachytherapy.

We do what is best for the patient and surround them with support to address their physical and psychosocial needs from the time of their diagnosis and beyond treatment.

To learn more about brachytherapy, contact the St. Luke’s Nassif Radiation Center at (319) 861-6944.


Thomas Richardson

Dr. Richardson is a board-certified urologist with Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa and the Helen G. Nassif Community Cancer Center. He specializes in adult and pediatric urology and urologic cancer care.


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