WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
That depends on the patient and the stage of his cancer. The most common types of recommended treatment are surgery, radiation therapy and Cryosurgery - or freezing of the cancer cells.
Surgery - the most common treatment for early stage prostate cancer, used to remove the cancer. Sometimes the entire prostate is removed, called radical prostatectomy. Depending on the extent of the cancer, your surgeon may also remove nearby lymph nodes. Today some doctors are performing robot-assisted surgeries using the remarkable daVinci ® system. This advanced procedure allows complex surgical tasks to be performed with minimum damage to surrounding nerves, muscles, structures and organs. Recovery time is typically shorter as well.
Radiation Therapy - uses high energy external x-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Treatment sessions usually occur daily over a defined course of time. Today, advanced radiation therapy called intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is being used to minimize damage to normal tissues around the cancer.
Cryosurgery - a relatively new technique being used to treat localized prostate cancer through the freezing of prostate cells. It utilizes ultrasound-guided placement of cooling probes into the prostate gland.
ARE THERE SIDE EFFECTS WITH THESE TREATMENTS?
There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these treatment options including the potential for ED, or erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence and other side effects. Talk to your doctor honestly about your expectations and concerns for each option before deciding on the right path of treatment for you.