Enlarged prostate, although common, is less severe than malignant tumor of the prostate. When a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer, his first reaction is to get informed and undergo an effective treatment as quickly as possible to increase the chance of healing or survival. The victim may read countless books, articles and do lot of researches on prostate cancer so he can be better prepared for the tough times that lay ahead. For peace of mind, he may also request a second opinion from an oncologist (a doctor specializing in cancer treatment) about the prostate cancer treatment options and the care he will receive.
Normally, the treatment of prostate cancer is selected according to age as well as overall health of the patient, the size of the tumor, its aggressiveness as well as its extent. Treatment may include one therapy or a combination of therapies. The specialist may give you the choice between radiation and prostate removal. In some cases, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and other target therapies are also included. Unfortunately, the best option is a complete ablation of the prostate (radical prostatectomy).
However, deciding on a choice of treatment for cancer is difficult the fact there is not a unique treatment for any cancer. There is no absolute good or bad choice; a good choice must be based on your circumstance. The key is to know your medical condition and do your own research before choosing. But it is important to choose wisely. The decision has a consequence for the rest of life, either good or bad. Decide after careful consideration in order not to regret. You should know that even if surgery can provide a lasting solution, it is often associated with lifetime adverse effects.
Enlarged prostate can be treated and cured easily depending on its severity. Similarly, prostate cancers detected and treated in early stages are often cured, although often at the cost of some degree of incontinence or impotence. However, in some cases, the cancer may recur or spread to other organs, reducing considerably the healing chance. Therefore, throughout the treatment and afterward, frequent medical exams and PSA blood tests are regularly performed to determine a possible recurrence of the cancer.
In general, if you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, here are the treatment options that will be offered:
Surgical Therapy (Prostatectomy) – removal of the prostate allows to eradicate the tumor in a single surgical intervention. Often followed by prostate radiation therapy, this treatment gives the highest survival rate, up to 97%. In general, men who chose surgery live longer; the survival rate at 15 years is about 80%.
Radiation Therapy (Brachytherapy) – during this procedure, cancer cells are destroyed by external beam radiotherapy or brachytherapy (surgical implantation of radioactive sources). Internal radiation therapy is a good choice for older men or men who are not good candidates for surgery. This option provides a survival rate at 15 years about 65%.
Hormone Therapy – this surgical procedure helps prevent production of certain hormones that promote tumor growth – testosterone for instance. This therapy can help shrink the tumor by targeting the testosterone that is known to promote growth of the tumor in the prostate gland.
Cryotherapy – this procedure aims at freezing the tumor using liquid nitrogen to destroy cancer cells. This treatment is used instead of surgery. It is sometimes better for men who are not able to undergo surgical intervention – older men who suffer from other medical complications for instance.
Chemotherapy – this is a strong prostate cancer treatment consisting of using drugs that can target and destroy cells that reproduce quickly, such as cancer cells. The chemotherapy agents circulate in the bloodstream and reach cancer cells lodged in distant organs of the primary tumor, and which have not been removed by surgery or targeted radiotherapy.
When Treatment Is Not Necessary?
At early stage, some prostate cancers have a slow evolution and do not require immediate treatment. It is then possible to monitor the progress of the disease and your level of physical comfort through regular testing. For older men who have other health problems, this kind of watchful waiting may be less disruptive than the cancer treatment which is always associated with side effects including clinical depression. With “watchful waiting”, the survival rate at 15 years is 50 to 60%.