Prostate cancer affects more than a quarter-million men in America every year. It is the most common cancer that is diagnosed in males, and the rate of occurrence goes up considerably once a man reaches the age of 65. While a prostate cancer diagnosis is a scary for any man, the good news is that prostate cancer is a very treatable illness ? especially when it is diagnosed in the early stages. Prostate cancer is also quite often a very slow-moving illness which means that many older men may have the disease and not even know about it. If you are diagnosed with this disease, there are many prostate cancer treatment options available for you and your doctor to consider.
Surgery can be a good choice in a prostate cancer treatment option, and can be performed a couple of different ways. The traditional method of surgery for removing the prostate was the only option for many years, but recently a laparoscopic surgery was introduced as an option. This procedure has many advantages including less pain for the patient, less time spent in the hospital, and less risk due to excessive bleeding. This prostate cancer treatment option can be considered if the cancer is confined to the prostate and is determined to be fairly non-aggressive in nature.
If surgery is not enough, there is radiation therapy to consider as part of your prostate cancer treatment options. Radiation is usually given five times a week for eight or nine weeks, and is performed in a facility by a licensed technician. The idea of the therapy is to expose the location of the cancer to radiation that will kill the cancer cells and leave the body disease free. The side effects to radiation are generally mild and will disappear within a few weeks after the therapy is complete. However, there are side effects to radiation therapy that can cause more severe and permanent problems, such as erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence. Because of these risks, it is important to consider radiation therapy very carefully with your doctor as an option for prostate cancer treatment.
If surgery and radiation therapy do not succeed in getting rid of the cancer, a third option in prostate cancer treatment is chemotherapy. This treatment is particularly effective if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Cancer-killing drugs are given intravenously throughout a course of treatment that generally lasts three to six months in duration. Chemotherapy is strong medicine that has many uncomfortable side effects, so it is usually offered at the end of prostate cancer treatment options, or when the cancer has proven to be aggressive in nature.
Prostate cancer is a difficult diagnosis to grapple with, but the good news is that there are many options in prostate cancer treatment to choose from. Talk to your doctor about the most effective prostate cancer treatment option for you.