What Are The Treatments For Prostate Cancer?

September 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer Treatment

It helps to know the factors are that apply to the decision making process when determining which intervention would be most suitable for the treatment of prostate cancer once the diagnostic report has come in. Making the best choice rests heavily on the state of general health of the patient, on the condition of the cancer itself, and on the age of the patient; one has to sieve through the treatment options first.

Surgery – surgery is perhaps the most popular and well known prostate cancer treatment that there is. It is nothing more than the surgical removal of the prostate gland itself along with the cancer inside of it. As such it is most effective when the cancer has not spread to the outsides of the prostate. prostatectomy – or radical prostatectomy – has to be carried out early then, if the patient is to be cured; but once that is done, the patient has a nearly one hundred percent chance that the cancer will not relapse in five years, and a ten year prognosis of 93%. The problem with surgery is mainly the incontinence and impotence side effects.

Radiotherapy – this can be used in just about every stage of prostate cancer to cure the disease, to slow its progression, or to provide pain relief for the patient (especially in advanced stage disease. External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) is one technique that applies the ionizing radiation from an external source (the linear accelerator) to kill the cancerous cells; brachytherapy is what might be called seed implant radiation therapy that sources the radiation from tiny seeds that are placed in the prostate gland through tiny incisions. The problem with radiation is the proctatis that results, causing diarrhea and mild rectal bleeding, and the impotence and incontinence that usually come after. These often fade with time.

Hormonal therapy also may be employed for any stage of prostate cancer although it might be most useful in the treatment of late stage disease. Hormone treatments cause the cancer to stop growing and shrink by removing the testosterone content in the body – hindering the fuel that the cancer needs to progress. However hormonal treatments don’t cure the disease. Well then, they might as well be used to treat the disease when it is no longer expected to be cured.

Other treatments like immunotherapy, cryosurgery, proton therapy, and high intensity focused ultrasound are all meant to be used with the intention of curing the disease, although they may also be used in later stages. Chemotherapy however may be the only prostate cancer treatment intended for late stage disease to provide palliation.

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