Prostate Cancer Therapy
According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer within their lifetime, but only 1 in 34 men will actually die from the disease. Almost 2 million men in the United States have survived prostate cancer. What is the relevance of this information? Prostate cancer therapy is proving to be very successful at eliminating the disease. If you have been diagnosed, this should be very reassuring information.
The realm of prostate cancer therapy is not as extensive as you would think. There are basically 4 options to treat the disease.
The most often utilized form of prostate cancer therapy is prostate cancer surgery, or specifically a radical prostatectomy. This is the removal of the prostate gland, as well as tissue around it, should it be affected also. This type of treatment is usually the first approach to removal and may be followed by radiation if cancer cells remain.
This leads to the next form of prostate cancer therapy, radiation therapy, which is a treatment in which radiation is utilized to eliminate cancer cells. This may be done by inserting radiation seeds into the gland to deliver a high dose of the toxic agent, or by an external machine. As stated earlier, this is often used when surgery does not completely remove the disease. However, it is also used in cases that the cancer has not grown too large since it is a fairly non-aggressive prostate cancer therapy.
Hormone treatment is also a common prostate cancer therapy; however, this is typically utilized in advanced stages of the disease. As prostate cancer spreads to other parts of the body, surgery and radiation become ineffective treatment options. Hormone therapy is used to reduce certain hormone levels which aid in cancer cell growth. Among these is testosterone, which actually feeds cancer cells. Hormone therapy is nowhere close to as effective as a prostatectomy or radiation, but the lower success rate could be due to the advanced stage of the disease.
Another prostate cancer therapy available is cryotherapy; however, this treatment is in its infancy. This is a procedure in which the prostate is frozen to kill cancer cells. While some doctors have had successful results, it is still, for the most part, untested. The main selling point for cryotherapy is that it is non-invasive, meaning they do not have to cut on you to perform the procedure. However, it does involve the insertion of probes through the rectum to perform the procedure, as well as weeks of wearing a catheter until the urethra heals and is able to function again. Therefore, it is not without its shortcomings as well.
Whichever prostate cancer therapy is utilized, you should research the procedure and ask your doctor what you are up against. These prostate cancer therapies can be very successful if utilized correctly.