Prostate Cancer And Treatment – 3 effective interventions

July 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer

Active surveillance is an approach to the treatment of prostate cancer in which the patient is observed and regularly monitored without invasive treatment. This is sometimes the suggested remedy when disease is in its early stage and does not appear to be growing rapidly. This cancerous tumor is essentially slow growing anyway, so unless they observe a quicker pace, the specialists might keep it that way and hope the patient die of other causes, such as those related to age. If the risks of treatment also outweigh its benefit to the patient, they just might keep it that way too.

Hormonal therapy for prostate cancer employs surgical procedures (like orchiectomy – the surgical removal of the testicles) or medications in order to block the prostates malignancies from getting DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is made by the prostate gland but this cancer generally uses it to grow and spread. As a result, removing DHT from the equation may stop the progression of the disease; it may result in the regression of the tumor- at least for a while. The testicles produce testosterone, which helps in the production of DHT. Hormonal treatment then may require the removal of the testicles or the administration of medications to interfere with the secretion of testosterone or of DHT.

Surgery for this cancer is a radical prostatectomy – removal of the prostate – a common treatment for early stage prostate cancer or salvage after radiation therapy has failed to appropriately deal with the condition. Sometimes the incision is made in the abdomen, sometimes it is made in the perineum; sometimes a laparoscope is used; and sometimes it is a surgical robot.

The idea is to remove the tumor as completely as can be managed, and besides the risk to the patient, most doctors appear to favor this intervention for this condition. A transurethral resection of the prostate is also a surgery, but one that works usually only for an enlarged prostate, which is generally a benign disease. Cryosurgery improves on most of the faults of prostatectomy, but itself could still use some work.

High intensity focused ultrasound or HIFU is not available in the United States at this time, but already it is in use for prostate cancer intervention all over Canada, and South and Central America. Even the United Kingdom has areas in which HIFU is well employed to cure the disease. The procedure uses High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (which you may also call ultrasonic waves) to ablate cancerous tissue by heating to destroy them. The modus operandi is somewhat similar to the working principle of radiation therapy, but the ultrasonic waves are more precisely focused on specific areas of the prostate thus yielding minimal risk to other cells in the region.

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