Virtual reality computer technology is being used to battle prostate cancer for the first time in the nation at a clinic in West Des Moines. Dr. Gordon Grado, a radiation oncologist, can view a patient’s prostate gland through detailed imagery using the “3-D Accu-Seed Stepper.”The device enables physicians to see the prostate in a three-dimensional specimen on the screen, which can be manipulated to find the best approach for an efficient treatment. Dr. Grado uses brachytherapy which uses ultrasound and virtual reality modeling to precisely place radioactive “seeds” or sources into a tumor using a needle. The treatment takes about 30 to 45 minutes, compared to external beam radiation which requires daily treatment for up to eight weeks. He says the recovery time is only about a week with brachytherapy versus up to two months for traditional radiation treatments. Among the side effects, Grodo says prostate surgery can leave a man impotent in 50-to-70 percent of the cases.He says this high-tech method of treating prostate cancer not only brings fewer side effects, but he says it’s less invasive and provides better results. For more information, go to “www.gradoragdeclinics.org”.
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