A Sneak Peek into the Prostate Cancer Treatment Options
Most types of cancers can now be identified and treated successfully thanks to the advancements in research, diagnosis and treatment that have occurred over the past decade.
Better screening and tests means earlier diagnosis before the cancer becomes clinically evident. Early detection and new treatments have improved the prognosis for men fighting prostate cancer. There are many prostate cancer treatment options that are available for the patient today and they offer a higher chance of cure.
Prostate Cancer is the leading cancer among men in North America and statistics show that 80% of men over the age of eighty will be affected by the disease. The risk of getting prostate cancer increases with unhealthy lifestyle, age and family history. While there is nothing you can do about aging, you can make some lifestyle changes that will help with prevention. Healthy living, including eating right and exercise, may help prevent or slow down the growth of prostate cancer.
If it is too late for prevention and you are diagnosed with the disease, you need to learn your treatment options. Visit our prostate cancer blog for recent updates.
When diagnosed with prostate cancer, you should perform your due diligence in researching prostate cancer and learning the options available to you. Your treatment decision will depend on the stage your cancer is in, your age, health and personal preferences. Treatment must be discussed with your doctor and family to find which option best suits your particular situation. There are numerous factors to be taken into consideration before a specific treatment option is settled upon.
There are several treatment options available for low and intermediate risk cancers. Most have very high survival rates, but the side effects can vary greatly. The best prostate cancer treatments will depend on the age and health of the patient, the stage of the prostate cancer and whether it is localized. The risk of getting prostate cancer increases with age. Regular screenings should be done for men over the age of 50. However, if there is a history of prostate cancer in the family, it may be wise to start screening as early as 40 years old.
Side effects will vary with the chosen prostate cancer treatment option. Decisions for which treatment option to elect may depend on the biopsy results, finances and insurance, education on current procedures and the advice of your family physician or surgeon.
Many doctors believe that radical prostatectomy and radiation therapy have the same cure rates if employed during the early stages of prostate cancer. Surgery, known as radical prostatectomy, is one of the most extreme treatments since it removes the entire prostate. Urologists will usually try to do nerve sparing surgery as nerves around the prostate can be damaged during the surgical procedure. The nerve damage can result in impotence or erectile dysfunction, but urinary incontinence can also occur after surgery or radiation.
There are also new and alternative treatment options that should be weighed and considered. Some alternative treatment options include laparoscopic prostatectomy, chemotherapy, brachytherapy, cryotherapy, hormone therapy and HIFU – High Intensity Focused Ultrasound.
One of the newer, preferred non-surgical treatments available is HIFU – or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound. This procedure is popular in Europe and Canada, but not available in the U.S. The ultrasound waves are focused into the area of the prostate containing the cancer, where the cancer cells are heated to a high temperature- destroying them. The ultrasound waves are emitted through a transducer which is inserted into the rectum, requiring only a spinal anesthesia and some mild sedation. The transducer is equipped with ultrasound imaging so the prostate can be seen on the controlling computer monitor and the Urologist in charge of the procedure can focus on the prostate images to avoid damaging surrounding tissue and nerves.
Patients should always get a second opinion before they arrive at the complex decision as far as treatment type is concerned. Talking to doctors who specialize in the latest types of treatment options for prostate cancer may yield a particular recommendation for one of the latest therapies. Learning more about prostate cancer benefits not only those faced with a difficult decision on what treatment option to select, but also helps healthy men avoid prostate cancer, or catch in the early stages, by opting for regular screenings.
Most men find it extremely stressful when it comes to choosing between the various treatment options. Because the U.S. FDA could approve the treatment as early as 2013 in line with other countries that have already approved the treatment, insurance coverage may become available thereafter for procedures done in the States. Government backed agencies are not necessarily the swiftest when it comes to garnering approvals for a particular procedure, yet when it comes to cancer, time is not on the patient’s side. Advanced countries like Germany, Japan, Canada and others are sometimes leading the way when it comes to approving new treatments and technology, and there is extensive clinical research and results on Ablatherm HIFU prostate cancer treatment that dates back over the past decade.