If you require surgery for breast cancer, radioactive seed localization (RSL) can help your surgeon precisely locate and remove your breast tumor, sparing healthy tissue. Magee-Womens Breast Cancer Program specialists are pioneering the use of RSL for breast cancer surgery because:
- Allows radiologists to identify areas of concern on a mammogram, allowing your surgeon to remove abnormal tissue.
- Using advanced imaging and precise tumor localization, breast tumors can be removed with minimal disruption to the surrounding healthy breast tissue.
Is the localization of radioactive seed painful?
Frequently, the placement of seeds can be performed with minimal or no discomfort. Before beginning the procedure, the radiologist will inject a local anesthetic to numb the affected area. The local anesthetic may induce a brief burning sensation before numbing the area.
O During surgery, your surgeon uses a sterile Geiger counter to locate the radioactive seed and then removes it along with the surrounding tissue. The removed tissue (the specimen) is sent to pathology for examination under a microscope following surgery.
What side effects do radiation seeds have?
What Are The Adverse Reactions? – Urinary symptoms are by far the most prevalent. These include frequent urination and an urgent need to use the restroom. Some men experience burning during urination, and in a few instances, they are unable to completely empty their bladder.
Generally, these symptoms are treatable with medication, and they improve over time. Self-catheterization may be required to assist with bladder drainage. Rarely is urinary incontinence caused by brachytherapy. Patients who have previously undergone a TURP, a surgical procedure to remove a portion of the prostate, may be at slightly increased risk (transurethral resection of the prostate).
Before the procedure, the doctor can minimize this risk by performing a thorough prostate ultrasound to determine how much prostate tissue remains to implant the seeds. Less than 1% of patients experience rectal bleeding. Diarrhea is uncommon. Using brachytherapy alone, the impotence rate five years after the procedure is approximately 25%.