Some men are resistant to having a prostate cancer screening because they are afraid of a positive result. The truth is, if detected early, prostate cancer can be cured. There are a number of prostate cancer treatment options and the sooner you start treatment, the better are your chances for getting rid of the cancer completely. Here are some of the current ways that prostate cancer can be treated.
This is the "wait and see" approach and one which your doctor may recommend if you have early stages of prostate cancer. Tumors in the prostate gland grow slowly. It may be years before you develop any symptoms from the cancer. Your doctor will have you come in regularly to examine the growth of the tumor. Once it has reached a size where you could develop symptoms, then your doctor will recommend additional treatment. One advantage of this approach over any of the other treatments is that you avoid any unpleasant side effects from those treatments.
Surgical Removal of the Prostate Tumor
When the tumor reaches a critical size, surgery is done to remove the cancerous cells. All or part of the prostate gland will be removed along with the tumor. The more advanced the tumor, the more of the prostate gland must be removed. As the tumor grows, it spreads cancer cells to the tissue around it. Removing part of the prostate is necessary to ensure that all of the cancer cells have been removed.
Side effects you may experience from this surgery include:
- leaking or urine
- erectile dysfunction
When the tumor has advanced to a point where it is spreading cancer cells into other tissues, surgery may not be able to remove all of the cells. Radiation therapy treats a wider area around the prostate gland to kill any cells that have spread. The treatment can be done by using a beam of radiation directed at the prostate and surrounding tissues. Or radioactive pellets can be inserted into the prostate gland.
Side effects you may experience from radiation therapy include:
- bloody stools
- difficulty urinating
- erectile dysfunction
These side affects do go away once radiation therapy is stopped.
In advanced cases of prostate cancer where malignant cells have spread to other parts of the body, chemotherapy is used to track down and kill those cells. You'll receive either an oral medication or an injection into the bloodstream. The chemicals are absorbed by the cancer cells and their reproductive process is disrupted. It will take several treatment sessions to make sure that all of the cancer cells that have spread are destroyed.
Side effects you may experience from chemotherapy include:
- loss of appetite and weight loss
- sores in the mouth
- nausea and vomiting
- hair loss
These side affects do go away once the chemotherapy treatment stops. To learn more, contact a clinic like Unity Urology PC.