The prostate is a gland that is located in front of the rectum and below the bladder in men. As men age this gland becomes larger in size. Sometimes the cells in the prostate gland will grow and cancer will occur.
The most common type of prostate gland cancer is adenocarcinoma. The signs and symptoms of prostate cancer include blood in the urine or semen, difficulty urinating, pain in several areas of the body, weakness or numbness in the lower extremities and erectile dysfunction.
Prostate cancer treatment may come in the form of radiation, surgery, cryotherapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy or taking the conservative approach with observation. The prostate cancer treatment that the patient and doctor decide to use is unique to each person. The doctor may suggest one prostate cancer treatment in particular or he may feel that a combination of treatments will work best.
Below is a more in-depth look at the different types of prostate cancer treatments:
Radiation: There are two types of radiation therapy. These include the external beam radiation and the internal radiation or brachytherapy. This type of prostate cancer treatment is generally used for cancer in the early stages.
Surgery: If the physician feels that the cancer is contained just to the prostate gland, surgery will be advised. This surgery, a radical prostatectomy, involves removal of the entire prostate gland. The surgeon will also remove some of the tissue around the prostate gland.
Cryotherapy: Early stage prostate cancer will sometimes be treated with cryotherapy, which involves freezing the cancer cells. This form of prostate cancer treatment is not used too often, but it does have its purpose.
Hormone therapy: Androgen deprivation therapy or ADT works to suppress the hormone that stimulates the growth of the cancer cells in the prostate gland. It is often used when the cancer has spread too much and surgery or radiation are no longer an option.
Chemotherapy: If the prostate cancer has spread to the areas outside of the prostate gland, chemotherapy is sometimes used with or without hormone therapy. It is generally used in more advanced cases.
Observation: Sometimes no treatment is necessary for prostate cancer, as the growth process in this type of cancer is slow. The physician would likely recommend laboratory testing and an examination every six months to see how the cancer is progressing, if at all.
If you find that you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, discuss with a doctor, such as those at Unity Urology PC, which prostate cancer treatment you are most comfortable with and that would work best for your condition.