Exploring Prostate Cancer Treatment: Your Medical Options for Health
Realizing you have prostate cancer and have to begin the process of treatment can be overwhelming. But it is important to stay informed and ask pointed questions, so you can make informed decisions and improve your health. Prostate cancer treatment is multifaceted, and depending on your individual case, involves a combination of what is called active surveillance, surgery, radiation, hormonal therapy, and chemotherapy or immunotherapy.
For those whose cancer is slow growing, your doctor may recommend active surveillance. This is a choice where visits to a cancer specialist are regular and tests are revisited for any changes. Treatment is not immediately recommended, but if signs of possible advancement are revealed then other treatments may be suggested.
The recommended surgery for prostate cancer depends on the stage of the cancer and the aggressiveness of the tumor. Listed below are some types of surgical procedures:
- Laparoscopic prostatectomy: A very minimally invasive surgery where a robotic or laparoscope is used to remove the prostate gland.
- Radical prostatectomy: An open surgery that removes the entire gland.
- Cryosurgery: This technique utilizes liquefied gas to freeze the tumor. This is a good option if the cancer hasn’t spread outside of the prostate.
- Radiation therapy: A specialized machine will aim high doses of radiation into the area of the tumor.
Hormonal therapy controls the development of cancer cells by blocking testosterone, a male hormone that helps the cancer cells to grow and spread. This kind of therapy usually is utilized after surgery or as an independent choice of treatment.
Chemotherapy and immunotherapy use drugs to kill prostate cancer cells. These types of treatments can be used for a variety of stages of prostate cancer, either in combination with other treatments, or as a sole method of treatment. Your doctor will administer these treatments through intravenous needles or pills.
If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and would like to explore your treatment options, it is important to find a cancer specialist that you are comfortable with, and take time to ask informed questions. Treatment depends on the individual and his health, so be sure to talk with your medical professional and make decisions that will benefit your health best.