Prostate Cancer Treatment Options To Consider When Diagnosed

Being diagnosed with a condition like prostate cancer is certainly one of the most life impacting experiences in a man’s life, but it does not have to be the end nor the bane of it. Upon receiving the diagnosis, it is important for the man to be able to stay focused enough to project into the future and decide on what might be the best course of treatment for his situation.

Early stage prostate cancer may still be cured by a variety of interventions which may be combined or administered monotherapeutically. The catch is that they have side effects which might impact the life of the patient after the treatment and cure have been effected. It is therefore important to choose wisely because the man will definitely live with the consequences of those choices after the treatment has been completed. 

Prostate cancer surgery, or radical prostatectomy, is perhaps one of the best cures for early stage prostate cancer, and perhaps has some of the most debilitating sides effects that there are. The patient will certainly suffer from incontinence for a while after the treatment, which is likely to fade off afterward, but the impotence that results from the procedure may not likely depart so quickly.

Most men assert that they have to remain on pills for the rest of their lives post treatment by surgery, others say it’s the VED pumps, and some get prescriptions from doctors for penile injections to regain a semblance of potency.

It is similar with most other prostate cancer treatments, but there is the additional radiation proctitis to deal with in the instance of radiation treatment, either by EBRT – external beam radiation therapy – or brachytherapy. The proctitis causes mild rectal bleeding and diarrhea, which eventually fade some weeks after the completion of the radiotherapy, but which are very uncomfortable while they last. The fecal and urinary incontinence issues are however more severe when it come to radiation therapy.

Hormonal therapy also has its side effects that the patient may have to live with for years after the conclusion to treatment. Orchiectomy, a low-risk surgery, has a psychological impact that may be significant for some patients; while the loss of testosterone can cause hot flashes, weight gain, loss of libido, enlargement of the breasts (gynecomastia), impotence and osteoporosis. And using GnRH agonists may eventually worse symptoms like increased bone pain, increased the risk for cardiovascular disease, and blood clots.

The use of antiandrogens generally don’t result in impotence and is gentler on the bones and muscle mass, but they may predispose liver damage with prolonged use; and some even cause skin rashes.

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