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I had IMRT using three gold markers that were implanted during a biopsy. This system used low dose X-rays to guide the high dose beam and it can control the beam with great precision. As an electrical engineer, I don't see why a guiding system using RF is even used. RF is relatively long wavelength compared to X-ray or visible light. This means that the error in positioning the beam will be greater. Also, in engineering you never use more technology than is needed. What if a transponder fails? Gold markers cannot fail and gold is not affected by an MRI. An RF transponder will probably prevent you from getting an MRI in the future.
Charlie I support Paul's view 100%. Like Paul I also had the gold seed implants prior to EBRT. But in addition to the fudical marking of the prostate, my gold seeds also resulted in a very substantial decrease in arthritic joint pain. So it was an additional unexpected bonus.
It is however possible, for implanted gold seeds to move (rare, but can happen). That is why the implant is done about 2 weeks prior to the commencement of Radiation.
I had EBRT/IMRT last year, no guiding implants. They used three tatoos, one each side & one directly above the center of prostate (laying on your back). After pelvic cavity radiation (about 1/2 total dose), they used ultra sound positioning system to verify where the bladder was with respect to the prostate and made adjustments accordingly. This was because depending on how much you drink, your bladder changes position. My only regret is that I did not have hemorrhoid surgery prior to treatment. My bladder is fine, no signs of radiation damage. Also, I was one of the 10% who got their rectum radiated, which after a year leads to hundreds of very small bleeding blood vessels in the rectum. This causes colitis, and damage to the anus, which gave me minor incontenance, and blood in the stool. We are just now doing the Argon laser cauteraziation. Had one in September, will need another shortly. I do not have ED. I was on ADT for one year ending June 08. The testosterone levels are not that high yet, so I can keep it up, but no release.
Please, what ever you decide, make that choice with your doctor (who will treat you) and your partner/spouse.
I also recommend that you seek BHS help for both you and your partner. The outcome of your treatment will be unique to you, and may or may not have problems.
Have faith, hope, and our prayers are with you,
Thank you for sharing your experiences and your words of wisdom. I am grateful for all the input and advice I have received from many people in this forum and others I am participating in. Ultimately, my wife and I have to make the right decision and be prepared to deal with any consequences. I know that with the good Lord at my side, I will be fine.
Thanks to Paul, John & Joe for your response and insights. Since your postings I did a lot more research on the Calypso technology. It was FDA approved in 2006 and approximately 2000 men have taken taken advantage of the procedure thus far. For the most part, there is little difference between the Calypso Beacon Transponders and gold seeds. The only procedural difference is that the gold seeds are detected to align the radiation beam at the beginning of each treatment. The Calypso system monitors the location of the implants throughout the treatment. So if there is a slight movement of the prostate during radiation treatment, the system will detect the change of position and stop the radiation until alignment can be adjusted. The seeds are made of a metal alloy, but will not interfere with metal detectors. Nor with they interfere with MRI studies, except for MRI studies of the prostate.
Being in the healthcare profession for 30+ years, I find this technology to be very intriguing. After carefully weighing the feedback I received from many people like yourselves, I decided to move forward with the Calypso. The implants were inserted yesterday and I will now begin my radiation treatments next week. I will keep you posted as treatments progress.