Prostate Cancer Treatment Options Latest, Alternative and Conventional Treatment Options
Prostate cancer treatment options include cryotherapy, radical surgery, radiation, hormone therapy and a lot more. How do you choose the best treatment? Discuss with your doctor all the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer you're dealing with and the possible options. Get sufficient on available treatment options before you decide. Your doctor will recommend options depending on the stage your tumor is in.
What are conventional treatments for prostate cancer?
Conventional treatments are often the first options your doctor will look into. These include . . .
1. Surgery or prostatectomy
This is the oldest type of conventional treatment. It is an invasive and open procedure.
The entire cancerous gland and the portion of your urethra that passes through the prostate gland are removed.
There are 3 options for prostate surgery: radical prostatectomy, laparoscopic radical prostatectomy and lymphadenectomy.
It uses high energy waves to damage the cancerous cells. It involves 3 types: external, brachytherapy and proton radiation options.
In external radiation treatment, small doses are administered to the tumor over a longer period of time.
Smaller doses over a longer period are used to prevent healthy cells from extensive damage. Also, normal cells can undo any damage caused by small doses of radiation. External radiation is more effective for tumors that grow near the surface of your body.
In brachytherapy treatment, radiation is administered through titanium cases called "seeds". These seeds are planted inside the gland and will release low levels of radiation to the tumor.
In proton radiation, the tumor is treated with energy waves that are administered through a laser-like beam. This works really well for tumors that start very deep inside your body.
For early stage or localized tumors, prostate cancer treatment options are usually surgery or radiation.
This is a treatment that uses synthetic or man-made hormones. Some drugs such as Lupron are designed to stop your body's production of testosterone. Cancerous cells that start in the prostate need testosterone to survive and grow. And there are drugs known as anti-androgens that prevent testosterone to reach the cancerous cells.
Unfortunately, long-term use of hormone therapy as one of your options has unfavorable side effects. It is found to increase risk for bone fractures, cancer of the colon and cardiovascular diseases.
This is often a prescribed treatment when the tumor is already at the advanced stage or when hormone therapy failed to destroy the tumor.
Chemotherapy is not one of the recommended treatment options for tumor at early stage because it causes more harm than good. Chemo drugs can poison your healthy cells as well.
But with the advent of new and more effective chemo drugs, some doctors recommend two options at the same time. You can have chemo even while you are still on hormone therapy type of treatment.
What are alternative prostate cancer treatment options?
Alternative treatments used in treating prostate tumors have become popular in recent years. These alternative options are either implemented to enhance a conventional method or as the primary and only means of treatment.
Options for the alternative types of treatment include . . .
mind-body practices such as yoga and guided meditation,
natural or biologically-based treatments such as Mediterranean diet and use of herbs like Ganoderma extract,
manipulative treatments like massage and chiropractic care and
energy medicines such as Reiki and acupuncture.
While undergoing treatment, discuss with your doctor how you can prevent your disease from worsening and after treatment, ask him how you can prevent its recurrence. Be proactive and find out how to prevent prostate cancer.
This is also a less invasive surgical procedure. It is done by inserting needles with freezing gases to the gland. These gases form ice crystals inside and around the tumor. This prevents the malignant cells from growing bigger and eventually, kills them.
The "best" treatment options depend on many things but especially on your age, your health condition and whether the tumor is localized or metastatic. Choosing the best options is based on expected effects (the pros and the cons) on your survivability and quality of life. And keep in mind that what is the best treatment for another patient may not be best for you because every tumor is unique.