Men's Health

Treatments For Prostate Cancer

Treatments For Prostate Cancer

Key Takeaways

  • Factors to consider before undergoing treatment for prostate cancer
  • The procedure of treatment

Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Since prostate cancer is a very dangerous infection, there is need to consider a number of factors before treating the condition. Prostate cancer is an infection that does not cause any immediate effects to the patient. However, when the infection develops, it may spread to other parts of the body, resulting in disastrous health problems.

Things to Consider Before Treatment

Before you start treatment for prostate cancer, your doctor should discuss some factors that may influence the type of treatment you are going to receive. These may include:

  • You general health condition.
  • The rate at which the cancer is growing.
  • How widespread the cancer is.
  • Benefits and side effects of the specific treatment.

Active Surveillance

This is not actually considered treatment, but a maintenance measure. It is a mechanism sometimes recommended by doctors on the basis of your health conditions and the age. It is also risky since it can lead to spread of the infection.

During this process, a doctor keeps a comprehensive track over your condition. The growth of the infection is confined to one small area. During active surveillance, you will undergo regular examinations and tests especially of the blood.

Hormone Therapy

Since the growth and development of the prostate cells depends mostly on your testosterone, so limiting your supply of hormones can help in control their development and treat the condition. Some of the therapy options may include:

  • Medications meant to restrict the body from production of testosterones. Some of these medications are the luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) which stops the transfer of messages to the testicles to produce testosterone. Examples of these drugs are goserelin (Zoladex), leuprolide (Lupron), histrelin (Vantas) and triptorelin (Trelstar).
  • Surgery for removing of the testicles (orchiectomy). This is a surgery where the testicles are removed to reduce production of testosterones in the body.
  • Medications that block testosterones from the getting into the prostate cells. These are medications known as anti-androgens. They inhibit testosterone from reaching the cells. Examples of them are flutamide, bicalutamide (Casodex) and nilutamide (Nilandrons).

Hormone therapy is a treatment measure that is mostly used for people with developed cases of prostate cancer.

Radiation Therapy

It is a type of treatment that uses radiation energy to destroy cancer cells.

  • Brachytherapy

This refers to when radiation is placed within the body. Rice-sized, radioactive seeds are placed in the prostate tissue. They produce radiation over a long time within the body and eventually kill the cancerous cells.

  • External Radiation Beams

This is where cells are destroyed by use of external beams. External beams can take from five days to a number of weeks. A patient is required to lie on a table where a machine scans the body, passing energetic beams over the skin to destroy the cancerous cells.

Radiation therapy is a treatment measure that also has its own side effects. These may include urgent, painful, or frequent urination.

Surgery

This is a process also known as radical prostatectomy. The prostate gland is removed. Some of the procedures used are:

  • Introducing an incision in the abdomen. This is an incision used to take out the prostate.
  • Creating an incision between the scrotum and the anus. It is a method that prevents damage to the neighboring cells.
  • Robot-assisted surgery.
  • Laparoscopic prostatectomy.

The Bottom Line

Prostate cancer can also be treated through many other processes. In treating prostate cancer, it also depends with the health condition of the patient. Other means of treating prostate cancer may include biological therapy, chemotherapy or freezing of the prostate tissue.