Prostate Cancer Treatment Options
There are different types of prostate cancer treatment options for men who have different stages of tumor development. There is low, intermediate and high risk localized and locally advanced prostate cancer and then tumors that return after initial treatment. Due to advancing research there is a lot of prostate cancer information on hand for patients to further their knowledge of the condition.
Firstly, low risk localized cancer of the prostate is highly undesirable to develop or grow for years. Patients are usually offered active monitoring (or active surveillance) which keeps track of the tumor and its development. However, sometimes symptoms of prostate cancer are never caused because it develops incredibly slowly. If it does start to develop, then treatments for prostate cancer will likely be surgery to totally excise the prostate gland or radiotherapy.
With intermediate risk the cancer can start to develop after a few years and so internal radiotherapy (brachytherapy) or active monitoring are likely to be offered plus surgery to excise the prostate gland or external radiotherapy to the prostate.
High frequency ultrasound and cryotherapy may be offered under clinical trials but they are not standard treatments for prostate cancer.
High risk sufferers typically have surgical treatment for prostate gland removal or external radiotherapy focused on the prostate. Internal radiotherapy is not normally used as, in high risk cases the cancer has slowly spread and has grown through the capsule enclosing the prostate gland. So external radiotherapy is used to make sure all the cells are reached. Surgery, radiotherapy are normally used in conjunction with hormone treatments.
Locally advanced cancer is where the cancer has grown through the prostate gland's surrounding capsule. Surgery and external radiotherapy along with hormone treatment are offered. Metastasis means the spread of cancer cells. Metastatic prostate cancer means that cancer cells have spread away from the original tumor permeable into the blood stream and lymph glands.
If the cancer returns after the first treatment it can be treated with hormone therapy. If the initial treatment was surgical then radiotherapy is irrevely. If it has spread then it can not be cured however, with the use of hormone therapy to lower testosterone levels, it can be controlled. There are a lot of treatments available for this and doctors will explain all these at appointment.
Different treatments come with different side effects, risks and benefits which medical professionals will explain in full before concentration of treatment.
The prognosis depends on the grade and stage (Stage I to IV) of the cancer rather than the treatment choice. Men with slow growing, well differentiated, smaller tumors typically have the best prognosis. The good news is that these comprise around three quarters of tumors (stage I or II).
Staging means that the doctor 'stages' the cancer based on the character of its cells, the tumor size and extent of metastasis. For this type of cancer, two staging systems are used namely, TNM (tumor, node, metastases) system and the Jewett-Whitmore system.
New clinical studies are improving prostate cancer treatment options and therefore the survival rate is increasing all the time.