Treatment of Prostate Cancer

If you have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer you probably have many questions and feel the need to make a decision about your treatment. You may be overwhelmed with the amount of information you have received in a short period of time and feel pressured to make a quick DECISION so that you can begin treatment immediately.

Take the time to make sure that all of your questions have been answered and that you understand all of the information given to you. Make sure that you understand the stage of your prostate cancer and what that means. You have the right to ask questions of your treatment team so that you are comfortable with the treatment decision you make.

Some of the treatment options for men with prostate cancer may include:

  • Expectant management (watchful waiting) or active surveillance
  • Surgery (laparascopic or robotic-assisted)
  • Radiation therapy (external beam or implanted seeds/brachytherapy)
  • Cryosurgery (cryotherapy)
  • Hormone therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Vaccine treatment
  • Clinical Trial

These treatments are generally used one at a time, although in some cases they may be combined. You may want to speak with several physicians regarding your treatment options and the risks and benefits associated with each one. You may want to seek a second opinion as well.

Your team of physicians may include

  • Urologist (surgical treatment)
  • Radiation Oncologist (radiation therapy)
  • Medical Oncologist (chemotherapy)


The treatment you choose for prostate cancer should take into account:

  • Your age and expected life span
  • Any other serious health conditions you may have
  • The stage and grade of your cancer
  • Whether or not your cancer needs to be treated
  • Whether this treatment might cure your cancer or offer other potential benefits
  • Potential side effects from each treatment


Treatment Options for Early Stage Prostate Cancer
Early-stage prostate cancer refers to cancer that is contained entirely within the prostate gland. It has not spread (metastasized) either to local tissues or to distant body parts, such as bone. Early stage prostate cancer is the most curable.

One out of every two men diagnosed with prostate cancer is aged 72 or older. Since prostate cancer often grows very slowly, many of these men may die from other causes before the prostate cancer can cause any significant problems. In other words, many men will die with prostate cancer but not from prostate cancer. Another consideration is that therapies for prostate cancer can have side effects and complications. Trying for a cure may not always be the right choice, you must carefully weigh all of your options. Only you can decide what the right treatment option is for you.

There are three basic options for early stage prostate cancer. Surgery and radiation therapy can often lead to a cure. Men with intermediate-risk or high-risk disease usually need a combination of therapies to achieve a high likelihood of cure or disease control.

The three options for early-stage prostate cancer are:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation Therapy: Either external beam radiation or radioactive seeds (brachytherapy)
  • Active surveillance, also known as expectant management or watchful waiting.
    Active surveillance is not a form of treatment; it is patient management with close monitoring of your disease by your physician.

There is a fourth basic treatment option: hormone therapy. It is usually reserved for older men unable to tolerate treatment due to other health conditions, and for treatment of men with more advanced disease.

Chemotherapy plays only a limited role, it's reserved primarily for the treatment of men with advanced or recurrent prostate cancer that does not respond to hormone therapy.

 

More Information on Prostate Cancer

Once you decide on a treatment plan, many other specialists may be involved in your care as well, including nurse practitioners, nurses, nutrition specialists, social workers, and other health professionals. At the Foshay cancer center we take a multidisciplinary approach to your care, you will have an entire team of healthcare professionals throughout your course of treatment.

 

For more information about our comprehensive cancer program, call (561) 263-4400.