4 Conventional Prostate Cancer Treatments And Their Side Effects
1. PROSTATECTOMY – One of the most common treatments for prostate cancer is the surgical removal of the prostate gland, or parts of it. It is often recommended for early stage disease or if the cancer has failed to respond to radiation therapy. There are various forms of prostatectomy, based on the technique used, and the point at which the incision is made. However the side effects of the procedure include the most common serious loss of urinary control and impotence. Even though penile sensation and the ability to achieve orgasm usually remain undamaged, erection and ejaculation are habitually damaged. Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra may restore some potency, and “nerve-sparing” can help reduce the risk of damage.
2. RADIATION THERAPY – This also about as common as the previous, the use of ionizing radiation to treat all stages of prostate cancer is favored, especially when surgery fails. The radiation kills prostate malignant tumor cells with gamma and x-rays that damage the DNA the cells and increases the chances of apoptosis. Normal cells can repair radiation damage, cancer cells cannot; but the radiation therapy also causes side effects that typically occur after a few weeks of treatment. Common symptoms are diarrhea and mild rectal bleeding as a result of radiation proctitis; and the same is potential for urinary incontinence and impotence. The good thing about radiotherapy is that these symptoms generally tend to improve over time.
3. HORMONAL THERAPY – The manipulation of the body’s hormone production or synthesis has also proven rather effective in causing the disease to recede after an initial progression, which is a plus. Removing the testicles stops testosterone secretion, and applying GnRH (gonadotropine receptor hormone) agonists or antagonists troubles the male endocrines into ceasing their production of luteinizing hormones (LH), thereby interrupting the production of DHT ? dihydrotestosterone, and thus the ability of the prostate cancer to grow. The list of potential effects of testosterone loss includes hot flashes, decreased sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, osteoporosis, weight gain, decreased muscle mass, anemia, and memory loss. The degree to a man is affected by these treatments however may vary.
4. CHEMOTHERAPY – Another prostate cancer treatment with significant but indeterminate side effects is the application of anticancer drugs, often applied when the disease has spread beyond the prostate gland. The drugs travel in the bloodstream and slow the progression and spread of the cancer, but they also cause hair loss a good number of times, which is the most common side effect of the treatment. Other symptoms may appear later, but they are hardly ever the same in different patients.
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