One of the most common cancers that afflict American men today is prostate cancer, especially men who reach the age of 50 and over. An estimated one of every four men will most likely develop a cancerous cell in their prostate gland. The ratio increases to one of every two men as he grows older. Age plays a significant role in prostate cancer. Early detection of the cancerous cells (restricted within the gland) provides the largest chance of a full recovery. However, if the cancer cells have spread out, more aggressive therapy may be required to assure survival.
Unfortunately, the symptoms of prostate cancer are not all that obvious. In fact, it is estimated that 40 percent of prostate cancer patients were not aware of their problem until it became much worse. If detected early, there are many successful treatments for prostate cancer which include:
This is only advisable for patients that have undergone a proper assessment and discussion of the possible effects of surgery. The family as well as the patient himself should be aware of the probable events which may occur. Moreover, this is only suggested as management therapy of stage A and B prostate cancers. The surgery may take several hours and require a stay in the hospital for about 5 to 7 days.
This is the most common treatment among patients who are at stage A, B, or C prostate cancer. For those who are unable to have surgical treatment, radiation therapy is an effective alternative and can be done externally or internally. External radiation therapy is performed at an oncology center typically as an outpatient. The oncologist marks the area to be treated with a special pen. The radiation is administered by an apparatus that resembles an ordinary x-ray machine. It is a painless procedure, though side affects include fatigue, cystitis, redness or irritation of the skin, loss of appetite, diarrhea, rectal burning sensation, and blood in the urine. Internal radiation therapy places radioactive seeds within the body next to the tumor and is known as brachytherapy. The seeds are very small and undetectable by the patient. Also, since the seeds are directed at the prostate, the surrounding tissue is not affected.
There are other options available for the treatment of prostate cancer. You should discuss these alternative treatments with your doctor to determine what would be best for you.