Understanding Your Prostate Cancer Treatment Options
Prostate cancer can be treated in many ways. Even if two patients have the same stage of prostate cancer, they could have totally different treatment plans. That’s because doctors at Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA) evaluate each case individually to determine the best course of action. Using the latest technologies, tools and treatment methods, they’ll do everything they can to ensure each patient receives the best care possible throughout his or her cancer journey.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you can learn more about some of the most common treatment options below.
Active Surveillance/Watchful Waiting
In the early stages of prostate cancer, the tumor is growing very slowly and may not cause any health problems. Doctors can monitor the cancer and watch for signs that it may be worsening. If and when the condition does worsen, treatment can begin. Active surveillance is commonly used for low-risk or elderly patients.
In this common surgical procedure, the patient’s entire prostate and the surrounding tissues are removed. The procedure can be effective, especially if cancer has not yet spread to other areas of the body. However, major possible side effects could result, such as bladder control problems and erectile dysfunction.
In radiation therapy, high-energy rays or particles are used to attack and kill the prostate cancer cells. The two main types are external beam radiation and internal radiation. Doctors may recommend one or the other (or both) depending on the stage of cancer.
If the prostate cancer has spread to other areas of the body, chemotherapy might be helpful. This is because chemo drugs work throughout the entire body, instead of just one localized region. The drugs are usually administered in cycles, with periods of rest in-between so that the patient can recover. While chemotherapy alone can’t usually cure prostate cancer, it can help patients live longer and more comfortably.
Male hormones, or androgens, can stimulate prostate cancer cells to grow. Hormone therapy is designed to either lower androgen levels or stop the androgens from working altogether. Hormone therapy can be effective for some patients if other treatment options don’t work.
Doctors at RCCA can administer a special vaccine called sipuleucel-T (Provenge) to help treat advanced cases of prostate cancer. The vaccine is designed to boost the body’s immune system and train it to attack cancer cells. The vaccine is made using a sample of the patient’s white blood cells.
Cryotherapy can be a good option for early-stage prostate cancers and for cancers that have come back. In this procedure, doctors inject extremely cold gases into the body, which then freeze and kill off cancerous cells.
Explore More Treatment Options
Those are just some of the most common prostate cancer treatment options. As a patient at RCCA, you’ll also have many other options available to you, including immunotherapy, clinical trials and other types of surgeries. Based on your case, doctors will decide which treatments or combination of treatments will be best for you. If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment plan, please talk to your care team as soon as possible.
To make an appointment at your local RCCA office, call 844-346-7222 today.