Doctors are arming themselves with a precious new weapon in the fight against prostate cancer – gold.
Gold coils are being used to target radiotherapy more accurately, intensifying the effect of the treatment on the prostate and preventing damage to nearby organs such as the bowel or bladder.
Around six of the coils, which are 1cm to 2cm long and cost £80 to £100 each, are inserted in the prostate prior to treatment.
Gold is used because it shows up on scans and few people are allergic to it. Once fitted, the coils stay in the prostate for life.