Treatment options for men diagnosed with prostate cancer are now quite promising. Doctors have a variety of ways to treat prostate cancer, including surgery, radiotherapy and drug treatment to slow the growth of cancer cells. Both safety and efficacy of treatments for prostate cancer have improved considerably.These are all positive things. However, due to the multiple approaches to prostate cancer treatment – each with their own advantages and risks – choice of treatment can be complicated.
Treatment for each man in part depends on the stage of cancer and the aggressiveness of cancer cell growth. For example, a person suffering from prostate cancer in its early stages, which develop slowly, may opt for watchful waiting. On the other hand, a man who has prostate cancer, still in its infancy, but is growing at a fast pace, might need surgery, radiotherapy or other combination therapies.
Watchful waiting, active surveillance of prostate cancer
Treatment options for men with prostate cancer depends on many factors, such as aggressive disease, the prevalence of cancer, general health, and possible side effects of treatment.
If early detection of cancer, the best approach is to monitor the disease. Called active surveillance or watchful waiting, this strategy allows men with early prostate cancer with slow growth, avoid complicated treatments are still needed, and their possible side effects.
In addition, active monitoring allows taking action if the cancer spreads. Experts say that this approach may be adequate for more than 40% of all men with prostate cancer diagonosticati infancy.
Suravegherea active does not mean you should not do anything. Men who choose watchful waiting are regularly monitored by screening tests, digital rectal exams, imaging and biopsies performed in order to follow the progression of cancer. Ultrasounds, MRI scans and bone structure may be part of active surveillance.
Radiation therapy is used for many years to treat prostate cancer. Recent advances allow doctors to destroy cancer cells with greater accuracy and a higher dose of radiation therapy improves efficiency and reducing potential side effects.
- External radio therapy, uses a beam that reaches deep tissues after crossing the skin and superficial tissues. This is one of the main treatment options for prostate cancer confined to a small area.
External radiation therapy is usually 5 times a week for a period of 8 weeks. Each session lasts between 15 and 20 minutes. Radiation does not involve pain and possible side effects include sexual problems, fatigue, loss of appetite or rectal bleeding.
- Implants with radioactive “seeds” – is another way to treat prostate cancer. Treatment includes implanting small pellets (“seeds”) of radioactive metal in the prostate gland. These radioactive seeds release radiation in small doses over a period of several months. Insertion procedure called brachytherapy and is done under general anesthesia. The surgery takes about 2 hours. Side effects of this type of therapy may include sexual problems.
- Proton therapy – a type of radiation therapy that uses protons, or positively charged external particles to treat cancer. This type of radiation can allow the physician to reach deep tissues inside the body.
- Open retropubic radical prostatectomy involves removing the prostate through an incision made in the lower abdomen. The surgery allows removal of the prostate, and nearby lymph nodes to which cancer has migrated. Surgery requires 2-3 days of hospitalization, and most patients require a urinary catheter for 1-2 weeks after surgery.
- Radical perineal prostatectomy refers to removing the prostate through an incision made in the perineum – the area between the anus and scrotum. This procedure involves less bleeding, but doctors can not remove nearby lymph nodes, which is useful when the disease has spread beyond the prostate.
- Laparoscopic prostatectomy involves 4-5 small incisions in the abdomen. Chirurugul will introduce a tiny video camera, and surgical instruments through small incisions made to remove cancerous tissue.
Male sex hormones, particularly testosterone, are the fuel that helps cancer cells grow. The goal of hormone therapy is to deprive cancer cells of necessary materials development. Hormone therapy is used to treat advanced prostate cancer, but can also be used to shrink tumors larger. Hormone therapy include:
- Drugs that prevent the body from producing testosterone. Drugs known as luteinizing hormone antagonists – releasing hormone that prevents the testicles to produce testosterone to receive messages. Drugs used in this type of hormone therapy include leuprolide, goserelin, triptorelin and histrelina.
- Medicines that stop testosterone reaching the cancer cells. Antiandrogen drugs prevent testosterone from reaching cancer cells. Examples of drugs antiandorgene include bicalutamide, flutamide and nilutamida. These drugs are usually associated with luteinizing hormone antagonists.
- Surgery to remove the testicles (orchiectomy). Testis removal reduces testosterone levels in the body. Orhiectomiei effectiveness in reducing testosterone levels is similar to hormone therapy drugs, just as orchiectomy may reduce this level more quickly.