Other Prostate Cancer Treatments

By: Verlyn Ross

Prostate exams are a simple and straightforward procedure and can be conducted in a doctors office without any need for medical equipment or urine or blood testing. Since every year an average of two hundred fifty thousand men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, it is very important that all men receive regular prostate exams. The necessity of receiving prostate exams also increases as one ages.

This first form of prostate cancer treatment is called Active Surveillance. It is the medical term for watching a patients cancer, but not taking action until the condition worsens or expands. Active Surveillance is used when a patient may not be able to undergo treatment because of complications from other conditions, or is otherwise unable to receive cancer treatment.

The most direct route form of prostate cancer treatment is to remove the entire prostate, a procedure known as a prostatectomy. An incision is made behind the pubic bone and a portion of the prostate or the entire gland itself is removed. The urethra is then connected directly to the bladder, but a catheter is often necessary in order to allow the patients body time to adapt to the new setup of its urinary system.

Another form of prostate cancer treatment is radiation therapy, which can treat prostate cancer from the outside. An MRI or CAT scan is used to plot the exact location of the tumor or affected cells, and intense bursts of x-rays are used to destroy these cells. Intensity modulated radiation therapy, or IMRT, is a form of radiation that can be used to full effect on the majority of the cancer cells, but can be toned back to lessen the danger to cells in proximity to the bladder or rectum.

Brachytherapy is another form of radiation therapy, albeit one that involves actually inserting objects into the body. Radioactive pellets or seeds are injected into the prostate, and the radiation that they emit kills the cancer-infected cells. After a period of time, the radioactivity of these seeds fades, and the leftover pellets are completely harmless.

Another prostate cancer treatment is called hormone therapy, and involves restricting the amount of testosterone that the body produces or that is directed to help the prostate gland grow. The most extreme version of this procedure is called orchiectomy, and involves actually removing the testicles. Since they produce ninety-percent of the bodys testosterone, this method is very effective, but considering that the testicles must be removed, most men opt for another procedure. There are also drugs that halt production of testosterone derivatives, but these are not as effective as an orchiectomy, and some may have to be administered in frequent injections.

As with other forms of cancer, chemotherapy is also an option. However, up until fairly recently, chemotherapy was considered only as an option for men who have stopped responding to other prostate cancer treatments. New studies are being conducted using chemotherapy drugs. These drugs have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This new form of chemotherapy is used specifically to fight prostate cancer.

Being diagnosed with prostate cancer is by no means a small matter, but with modern prostate cancer treatments, there are many different options, and ones chances for survival are extremely high.

Cancer
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Cancer
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles