Prostate cancer options depend a great deal on the specific case, and no two cases are ever alike. Everyone has to make decisions about prostate cancer options based on their own feelings, the state of the cancer, their age and health, their doctor’s opinion, and an understanding of how good the chances are that any treatment will help as well as an understanding of side effects. Here are some of the prostate cancer treatment options that are currently available.
This is typically recommended only for tumors that are small and slow to grow, especially if they are not yet causing any symptoms. The cancer may or may not spread, and until it does you might decide to simply wait.
Prostate cancer options also include radiation treatment, which uses high-energy beams to kill the cancer. Radiation can be either from a machine outside the body or be internal, where a doctor surgically places a small “seed” of radioactive material into the cancer.
Types of External Radiation
Conventional radiation is always an option, but proton beam therapy offers exciting new possibilities in advanced cancer treatment options. The beam is better targeted so that less radiation is transmitted to non-cancerous areas of the body. Prostate cancer patients who undergo proton beam therapy are much less likely to experience impotence than those who have conventional treatment. Though the treatment is still considered new, as of 2015 there were 30 proton beam particle therapy centers under construction around the world.
Another of the prostate cancer options is, of course, surgery, where a doctor may remove only the prostate gland, or the prostate gland and some surrounding tissue. Surgery is usually only used when the patient is healthy and the cancer is localized. The most common side effects are difficulty urinating and getting or maintaining an erection.
The cells of prostate cancer need testosterone to grow, so denying them this essential hormone is one of the possible prostate cancer options. Some of these therapies work to lower levels of male hormones, while others simply block them.
This well-known treatment uses special drugs that are designed to shrink or kill cancer cells. This is usually only chosen as an option when the cancer is advanced or has spread.
With this cancer treatment, the cancer cells are actually frozen using small needles and very cold gases. The treatment has not been in use long enough for doctors to have a lot of information about it, and it is usually not the first recommended treatment.
Treatment options for prostate cancer also include a vaccine tailor-made to your body’s needs. The vaccine is meant to stimulate your own immune system to find and target the cancer cells, and the ultimate effectiveness of this treatment has not yet been determined.
These days there are many options for the treatment of prostate cancer. You and your doctor working together may choose to try none of them or several of them. What works best is what works for you.