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Since you were just recently diagnosed, and assuming that the prostate cancer is in the early stages, you should have a long life expectancy. When caught early, you have a good chance of being cured of cancer if there is no metastasis. There are several options available today; let’s look at a few of them. You may want to discuss these treatments with your oncologist to see which procedure would be best for you.
If your prostate cancer is localized, you may be able to have a form of radiation treatment called brachytherapy. Radioactive seeds are implanted into the prostate and in the surrounding tissues. You can have the seeds implanted as an outpatient, under anesthesia, and be out to lunch later on in the day. You may be able to return to work the very next day. Brachytherapy is an ideal way in which to deliver small doses of radiation to the prostate gland. The radiation kills the cancer cells from inside the prostate. This procedure is potentially curative when done in the early stages of prostate cancer.
External beam radiation therapy
External beam radiation therapy is also a very effective type of potentially curative treatment for prostate cancer, when the cancer is localized and has not metastasized. External beam radiation therapy delivers high energy X-rays that kill cancer cells. Radiation treatments are usually done 5 days a week for a period of 9 weeks. Each appointment will be between 15 and 25 minutes long. There is no pain associated with an X-ray treatment, so there is no need for anesthesia. The prognosis is usually very good for an individual with localized prostate cancer.
Cryosurgery is a minimally invasive procedure, which involves freezing and thawing prostate cancer cells. The procedure, cryoablation, is done by using liquid nitrogen or liquid argon in a freezing and thawing process. The temperature of the cancer cells is reduced to -40 degrees Centigrade. The freezing temperatures kill the cancer cells. This is a very good procedure if the cancer is localized to the prostate and not metastasized.
A radical prostatectomy is surgery to remove the prostate gland and the tissues surround it. The other tissues that will be removed in a radical prostatectomy are the lymph nodes in the pelvis and the seminal vesicles. This surgery can be done by two different approaches. The perineal approach is done through the perineum, which is the area between the anus and the scrotum. The other way the radical prostatectomy is done is through the retropubic approach, which is done between the abdomen and the pubic bone. If the lymph nodes need to be removed, the surgeon will likely operate from the retropubic approach. However, if the perineal approach is done, and the lymph nodes need to be removed, a second procedure will need to be done, called a lymphadenectomy, because the lymph nodes cannot be reached from the perineal approach. A lymphadenectomy is done with tiny instruments through a laparoscope through the lower abdomen.
Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy
The laparoscopic radical prostatectomy is done with a laparoscope; tiny surgical instruments are inserted through the laparoscope. In some areas this surgery is done robotically; the surgeon is in charge of the instruments and the robotic arms. The laparoscopic surgery is much less invasive than the other surgeries, which results in a shorter stay in the hospital. With a prostatectomy, laparoscopic or otherwise, you will likely have to wear a catheter for 3 or 4 days, because the operative site may swell and prevent urine from flowing from the bladder into the urethra and out of the body.
If you have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and the cancer is in the early stages, you have a good chance of a 100 percent recovery. Talk to your physician about any of these procedures, and ask if there are any other options available also.