Prostate cancer impacts one in 10 males, is the most
commonly occurring cancer in males today and is the
No. 2 cause of cancer-related deaths in men. Until
recently, treatments included radical prostatectomy
(complete, surgical removal of the prostate gland)
and external-beam radiation therapy.
Because of his special training, Dr. Behar can offer
prostate cancer patients a a third option -- radioactive
seed implants -- that is proving to be equally as
effective without many of the negative side effects
associated with the other treatments. The patient
can return to normal activities within days and the
two traditionally negative side effects -- impotence
and incontinence -- are decreased dramatically. Dr.
Behar and a team of urologists have performed more
than 500 prostate seed implants. Specially trained
in Seattle, Dr. Behar was the first physician in Houston
to perform ultrasound-guided palladium implants, and
has the most experience in the Houston area with this
The seeds, which are smaller than grains of rice
and emit controlled radiation for six to 12 months,
are inserted into the prostate during an outpatient
procedure that lasts for a few hours. The seeds deliver
ten times more concentrated radiation to the prostate
gland than occurs with external-beam radiation therapy.
In contrast, external-beam radiation therapy requires
short treatment sessions once a day, five days a week,
for eight to nine weeks, and causes temporary damage
to adjoining tissues and other temporary side effects
such as fatigue, skin reactions, painful urination,
upset stomach, diarrhea and rectal bleeding. Because
it requires major surgery, radical prostatectomy is
not easily tolerated by older men who are not in excellent
In some cases, medical circumstances will require
Dr. Behar to supplement radioactive seed implants
with limited external-beam radiation therapy.
Recently, a 14-year study of 147 subjects who received
seed implants has shown equivalent results when compared
with radical surgery, and superior PSA control rates
when compared to external-beam radiation therapy.