Prostate Cancer Treatment: What You Must Know
Cancer that grows in the prostate gland is called prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men in the U.S. About one man in six will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, but only one man in 34 will die of the disease.
In the early stages, surgery and radiation may be used to remove or attempt to kill the cancer cells or shrink the tumor. Doctors will usually advice you to undergo a surgical operation. You will then be given some medications to take. Many studies have shown that this combination reduces the pains experienced by men to a great extent especially if the prostate cancer has spread to the bones. The cancer will not totally disappear nor will you live longer. Seek medical advice too and you would be in a better position to decide according to your own health and your personal values. Medications can have many side effects, including hot flashes and loss of sexual desire. Urinary incontinence can be a possible complication of surgery.
Also a form of treatment used for early stage cancer is high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). This procedure is carried out under anesthesia (or using a local spinal anesthetic) and a probe is placed into the prostate gland through the rectum. A beam of high intensity focused ultrasound is them used to raise the temperature in the area of focus and thus to kill the cancer cells
Another prostate cancer treatment option is radiation therapy. This prostate cancer treatment includes the use of radiation of high energy from protons, neutrons, gamma rays and x-rays, as well as other sources to kill the cancerous cells and to shrink any existing tumors. There are two ways that radiation therapy can be administered as prostate cancer treatment. The first is from a machine that is located outside your body called external beam radiation therapy, or you may have material that is radioactive that is placed in your body near where the cancer is located. This is referred to as internal radiation therapy.
A relatively new technique, which is still being evaluated, is known as cryosurgery. During cryosurgery, which is carried out under anesthesia, cooling probes are guided into the prostate using ultrasound and the cancer cells are killed by freezing them.
The form of treatment used for early stage cancer is high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). This procedure is carried out under anesthesia (or using a local spinal anesthetic) and a probe is placed into the prostate gland through the rectum. A beam of high intensity focused ultrasound is them used to raise the temperature in the area of focus and thus to kill the cancer cells
For late stage prostate cancer hormone therapy is used and this is designed not to attack the cancer itself but to target the male hormones (in particular testosterone), which the cancer cells need to grow. In cases where hormone therapy proves ineffective, systematic radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be recommended.
The outcome of prostate cancer varies greatly; mostly because the disease is found in older men who may have a variety of other complicating diseases or conditions, such as cardiac or respiratory disease, or disabilities that immobilize or greatly decrease their activities. Whatever the stage of your cancer it is important to consider all of the options carefully and weigh the advantages, disadvantages and risks of each carefully before choosing the treatment that is best for you.