Options for Prostate Cancer
Depending on the stage of the cancer, and on the health and age of the individual patient, there are a number of options available at Mather:
- Radical Prostatectomy: The surgical removal of the prostate and surrounding tissues. This is generally performed if the cancer has not spread beyond the prostate gland. Possible side effects may include incontinence and/or impotence.
- Brachytherapy: Tiny radioactive pellets are implanted in the prostate. They emit radiation for a period of weeks, and then become inert. Seed implantation has a survival rate similar to that of surgical removal of the prostate, but greatly lessens the chances of side effects such as incontinence and impotence. Temporary side effects can include fatigue, skin reactions, and frequent and/or painful urination.
- Hormone Therapy: Testosterone fuels prostate cancer, so decreasing the amount of testosterone in the system can slow tumor growth and even kill cancer cells. Treatment includes an infrequent injection that shuts down production of testosterone. Often, hormone therapy is used before, during and after other primary methods of treating prostate cancer.
- Watchful Waiting: Sometimes, a physician may suggest a “wait and see??? approach. Basically, this means that, for the moment, it is best to continue monitoring the cancer before deciding on a course of treatment.
- Chemotherapy: In advanced stages of prostate cancer, anti-cancer drugs may be administered to kill off cancer cells. These drugs are administered at the proper dosage and frequency to avoid killing too many healthy cells.