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Understanding Your Prostate Cancer Treatment Options

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Prostate cancer is serious business and affects millions of men around the world. In the United States, it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men after skin cancer. If you have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may be weighing your many different treatment options going forward and trying to determine the best course of action for you and your needs. Get to know more about some of the different options available to you for treating your prostate cancer so that you can be sure that you and your oncologist develop a treatment plan that is right for you.

Watchful Waiting

Sometimes, if prostate cancer is detected while still in the earliest stages, your physician will suggest that you do not seek out immediate treatment. Instead, you can opt for a process of watchful waiting. Watchful waiting essentially means that you and your physician will monitor your condition and will perform scans and tests periodically to determine whether or not the cancer is growing or spreading.

While this is a non-invasive way to deal with cancer in its early stages, watchful waiting does carry with it some risks. If a person misses an appointment for a scan or even makes all of the appointments like clockwork, there is a chance that the cancer will become much more complicated and advanced before treatment begins. Knowing you have cancer and waiting can also cause you stress and anxiety that may be more detrimental to your health, particularly your mental health, than beginning prostate cancer treatment immediately.

Prostate Cancer Surgery

Prostate cancer surgery is one of the most common treatment options available for this type of cancer. This can be performed with two goals in mind. The first option is to remove the cancerous tumor while sparing the rest of the prostate. The other option is to remove the prostate in its entirety. Deciding between the two options comes down to the size of the tumor, the staging of the cancer and whether or not the tumor has clean margins that can easily be removed without leaving cancer cells in the body.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is also a useful treatment option for prostate cancer. It can be used either before or after surgery to treat prostate cancer and to help prevent the recurrence of this type of cancer. Sometimes, radiation therapy is administered on a regular basis in a doctor's office. This is known as external radiation as the x-ray (radiation) energy is transmitted from outside of the body and aimed at the prostate.

However, there are also two different radiation therapy options. These are low-dose internal radiation and high-dose radiation.  For low-dose internal radiation, a small device is implanted in the area of the prostate (either near the remaining prostate tissue or where the prostate once was). This device contains radioactive seeds that release radiation energy on a continuous basis.

While low-dose radiation therapy has been the more popular option in recent years, there is some evidence that high-dose radiation therapy may be just as if not more effective at preventing the spread of prostate cancer as well as its recurrence. High-dose radiation therapy is performed all at once in the doctor's office and can help to eradicate prostate cancer quickly and effectively.  

Now that you know some of the treatment options available to you for your prostate cancer, you can be sure that you are getting the best possible treatment for you and your needs. Contact a company like Unity Urology PC for more information.