Overview

External beam radiation for prostate cancer uses high-energy beams, such as X-rays or protons, to kill cancer cells. During external beam radiation for prostate cancer, the high-energy beams are generated by a machine called a linear accelerator that aims the beams at your prostate gland.

External beam radiation for prostate cancer kills cancer cells by destroying the genetic material that controls how cells grow and divide. Healthy cells in the beam's path also are affected by external beam radiation therapy, resulting in side effects.

The goal of external beam radiation for prostate cancer is to destroy the cancerous cells while sparing as much of the normal surrounding tissue as possible.

External beam radiation for prostate cancer is one of the standard treatment options to treat prostate cancer. It may also be used for men who have prostate cancer that comes back after surgery.

May 18, 2016
References
  1. External beam therapy (EBT). Radiological Society of North America. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=ebt. Accessed Apr. 1, 2016.
  2. DiBiase SJ, et al. External beam radiation therapy for localized prostate cancer. http://www.uptodate.com/home/. Accessed April 1, 2016.
  3. Wein AJ, et al., eds. Radiation therapy for prostate cancer. In: Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 3, 2016.
  4. Prostate cancer. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/detailedguide/prostate-cancer-treating-radiation-therapy. Accessed April 1, 2016.
  5. McAninch JW, et al., eds. Radiotherapy of urologic tumors. In: Smith and Tanagho's General Urology. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed April 1, 2016.