Health

Best and Most Common Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer

A single treatment option is not considered right for every individual with prostate cancer. Certain types of tumors may grow very slowly or not at all. Hence, the treatment options are different. Others tend to grow faster and spread to different places in your body. The doctor will assess the case carefully and work out a treatment procedure that’s best for you.

Usually, treatment decided at the prostate cancer treatment center will depend on the following factors:

– Patient’s age

– Overall health

– Lifestyle

– How serious prostate cancer is (size of the tumor and if it has spread in the body)

– Opinion of doctor, patient’s thoughts

– Possible side effects

– Chances of cure

Some of the most common prostate cancer treatment options include the following:

Watchful Waiting

This is the best option for patients with a small, very slow-growing tumor. The doctor may decide to wait until the patient shows symptoms good enough to initiate treatment. Active surveillance under medical guidance with the following will help doctor keep tabs on the cancer:

– PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood tests

– Rectal exams

– Ultrasounds

– Biopsies

Surgery

This is definitely the most viable option for patients who are otherwise healthy and their cancer hasn’t spread. Doctors can suggest varied types of surgeries. In some cases, doctors may just remove the prostate gland. He might take it and the tissue surrounding it. Controlling urine might be a side effect patient may face. Some patients may also face trouble getting and maintaining an erection. These problems might go away on their own, once the surgery is successfully performed. It is better to speak to doctor about your concern so that he may take some possible measures to protect the nerves around prostate.

Radiation Therapy

The treatment involves killing of cancer cells by using high-energy beams (these are very similar to X-rays. Older men are recommended this treatment procedure. The treatment may be suggested post-surgery to remove any cancer cells that are left behind. Radiation therapy helps with cancer that has already spread to the bone. The treatment is classified into two types:

  1. External Radiation – The machine outside of body directs rays at the cancer.
  2. Internal (brachytherapy) Radiation – Doctor performs surgery to place small radioactive “seeds” near or into the cancer.

Chemotherapy

The treatment involves use of drugs for killing or shrinking cancer cells. The prescribed drugs can be taken by mouth. Some may even be injected into patient’s bloodstream. Men with early stage of prostate cancer do not get chemo. The medication is given for advanced cases. This is also considered effective when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Vaccine for Cancer

Vaccinations for cancer work by boosting defense mechanism of body to help it fight an infection. Vaccine for prostate cancer vaccine makes the immune system attack cancer cells. The treatment is very helpful if the patient has already tried out hormone therapy but failed to achieve results. The vaccine is customized on the basis of patient’s specific needs. Scientists are still not clear if the vaccine stops or retards cancer growth. However, it has definitely helped men with prostate cancer live longer.

Bone-Directed Treatment

The treatment is given under situations where the cancer reaches bones. Doctors will give bisphosphonates (a kind of drug) to ease pain and prevent breakage. In most cases, doctor might recommend medication administered straight into veins for sending radiation to bones.

Ultrasound (High-Intensity Focused)

Sound waves are produced from this device to deliver high heat energy that kill cancer cells. At present, it is still not clear how well it works as compared to other standard treatments for prostate cancer. Usually, doctor mixes various treatments to achieve results.