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.