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Prostate Cancer >> Prostate Cancer: By the Numbers >> Top 5 Treatments for Prostate Cancer

Top 5 Treatments for Prostate Cancer

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Prostate Cancer is the second most common cancer among men and the second most fatal. There is currently no cure for prostate cancer but if detected early enough various treatments can be quite effective. Prostate Cancer can bring some unpleasant and even embarrassing symptoms which can make men want to shut down and not discuss it. However, the sooner action is taken the better chances of a good result.

When people hear the word cancer immediately minds wander to chemotherapy and the horrible side effects that accompany it. Actually, Chemotherapy is only one treatment option. There are several others that are far less evasive and may stop the cancer from growing. External beam radiation treatment is one option. External beam radiation treatment involves using radiation from high powered x-rays to kill the cancer cells. One drawback is that some healthy tissue can be affected in the process. Computers are used to gain the most accuracy. They work to focus the radiation where the most good will be accomplished and the least of amount of damage done to healthy tissues. When a patient undergoes External beam radiation treatment it is usually given 5 days per week for up to 8 weeks. Each individual session only lasts 10 minutes at the most. The treatment is painless but some side effects can occur. The patient may experience problems with urination, loose stools and blood in the urine. This however will pass quite quickly.

Radioactive seed implants are another form of prostate cancer treatment. In this procedure, needles are actually used to place tiny radioactive seeds inside the prostate. The procedure takes about 2 hours and is performed under anesthetic. The advantage to this treatment is that the radiation delivered is far more powerful than in external beam radiation. Up to 100 seeds can be placed in at one time with all the radiation leaving the body after about 1 year. The seeds implants are done over a time frame of a few months. There are some negative sides to the seed implants. Patients may experience urinary problems. Sometimes drugs and catheters are required to help the patient urinate regularly and without pain. Some patients also experience trouble achieving erection while this procedure is ongoing.

Hormone therapy is another treatment option available to sufferers of prostate cancer. The male body creates testosterone naturally. However this hormone can actually aggravate cancer cells and cause them to grow. Hormone therapy helps to limit the production of testosterone so the cells won’t grow. Hormone therapy is usually an option for later stages of cancer. It slows the growth and even shrinks the size of tumors. Hormone therapy is administered through various drug combinations both limiting testosterone and keeping testosterone from reaching cells. Unfortunately cancer cells can learn to live without Testosterone so treatment is temporary. The side effects can include nausea, lack of sex drive and weight gain.

Surgery is another option for patients with prostate cancer. This involves removing the prostate through the abdomen. This is a viable option if the cancer has not spread past the prostate. Problems with bladder control and erectile dysfunction are common side effects with this type of surgery. However these side effects usually correct themselves soon after the procedure.

types of treatment. It is used when the cancer has spread out of the prostate into other parts of the body. Cancer killing chemicals are either ingested or injected into the body. The length of the treatment will depend largely on how well the patient responds and how advanced the cancer is. Chemotherapy can bring some serious side effects. Pain, nausea, vomiting and hair loss are some of the most common.

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