Prostate Cancer Treatments

Prostate cancer is the one of the leading causes of cancer deaths for men, but the facts are that the survival rate is for 5 years for 99% of men if it is detected early.  This cancer occurs when cells in the prostate gland, which are part of the male reproductive system, grow and multiply and cause damage to the tissues around them.  This inhibits the function of the prostate and the cancerous cells can then spread to other parts of the body.

If you or someone you know has received this diagnosis, you need to know what treatment options are available.  You will also have some hard decisions to make to chose the treatment that is right for you.

Active Surveillance 

The majority of cancers grow very slowly, so there are some men that may never actually need treatment.  So a doctor could recommend active surveillance with the help of blood tests, rectal exams and more to ensure the cancer has not started getting out of control.

Surgery 

Surgery is most often the choice to cure prostate cancer if it is not believed to have spread outside of the prostate gland.  In the most common surgery know as a radical prostatectomy, the entire gland is removed along with some of the surrounding tissues.

Radiation Therapy

In this treatment, high energy rays or particles are used to kill cancer cells.  It can be the initial treatment of a plan to eradicate the cancer, or used as a stand-alone treatment.

Hormone therapy

The of this treatment is reduce the levels of androgens, or male hormones, in the body.  The aim in this type of treatment to prevent them from reaching prostrate cancer cells.  This treatment is used for several reasons including reoccurring cancer and/or an inability to have surgery.  It is also used to shrink cancer before radiation treatment is used in an attempt to make it more effective.

Chemotherapy

This method of treatment involved using anti-cancer drugs that are administered either by injection into a vein or taken orally.  This treatment is preferred for cancers that have spread through the body to other organs.  This treatment is given in cycles, with each period of treatment followed by a period of rest that gives the patient time to recover.

Vaccine treatment 

In this option, vaccines are used to boost the immune system in the hope that it will in turn attack and kill the cancer cells.  This is an option for those who have advanced cancer and for whom hormonal therapy is no longer effective.  These vaccines can be expensive, since they are not mass-produced and are specially made for each and every patient.

Bone directed treatments 

Once the cancer has grown outside of the prostate, it most likely will spread to tissues that surround it, the lymph nodes, and then bones.  Once this has happened, it can be very painful and cause other serious health problems.  In these treatments, Bisphosphonates, a drug that is used to relive pain and high calcium levels, is used.

Always get the entire story from your doctor to know what the best option is for you.