Do you really need surgery to remove the tumor or can drugs be effective? Read to know the difference between the treatments available and the one most suitable for you.
There are various treatment options available for prostate cancer, however, these depend upon the following factors:
- Your age
- The stage and grade of your cancer
- Your allergies, health and other treatments you underwent in the past
Here is a list of treatments and their brief explanation:
Radical Prostatectomy (Surgery)
This basically involves removal of the entire prostate gland. There are various methods through which it’s done. The most widely used technique is the one with a robotic system that guides the surgical tools and a camera. This surgery is helpful when the cancer hasn’t spread to the other organs of your body.
There are two types of radiation therapy. You must ask your doctor which one’s suitable for you.
- External beam radiotherapy
- Prostate Brachytherapy
In the first therapy, there’s a chance of the nearby tissues being damaged, since the cancer cells are killed with an external radiation. However, in brachytherapy, a small radioactive material is placed inside the prostate which kills all the cancer cells, without affecting the healthier ones.
Radiation is more effective when the cancer is in its early stages. Some side effects could be- urination problems, bowel problems and erectile dysfunction.
It is the temporary freezing of the prostate gland which destroys the cancer cells. You can opt for cryoablation if surgery and radiation do not suit you due to your health issues. It has few side effects like bowel problems and erectile dysfunction but they don’t last long.
It uses sound waves to destroy cancer cells in the gland without causing harm to the surrounding cells. It is optimal if you have a small and localized tumor.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy cancer cells anywhere in the body. It is used for advanced stages of prostate cancer. The drugs attack both cancerous and non cancerous cells and this therapy may only work for a while. Chemotherapy comes with side effects such as hair loss, vomiting, fatigue and increased risk of infections.
So these are the most common methods used to treat prostate cancer. Other unconventional methods that involve the use of herbs, acupuncture or massage are also opted by some people but they’re not proven to be effective.
This article was simply to familiarise you with the different types of treatment and side effects. To know which treatment is suitable for your condition, please contact your doctor. Stay safe and healthy.