New Treatments for Prostate Cancer
Latest Treatments Include Robotic Surgery, Cryosurgery and Proton Radiation Therapy

Are you considering the new treatments for prostate cancer? I will try to give you useful info on these latest treatments to help you decide on your options. Cryosurgery, robotic surgery and proton radiation therapy for tumors in the prostate are the new treatment options. Just remember that signs and symptoms of prostate cancer are important considerations in choosing the best treatments for you. The first two prostate cancer treatment options involve surgery and the third involves radiation. All treatments are the less invasive type.

What is the least invasive among the various new treatments for prostate cancer? Let's find out first what is the cryosurgery form of treatment.

What is cryosurgery?

This is one of the new treatments for prostate tumors. It is also known as cryotherapy and cryoablation.

Cryosurgery is a much less invasive type of surgery because instead of using a scalpel, a freezing process is used to destroy the cancerous prostate gland. No incisions are made and needles are used to administer cryogenic gases (liquid argon and helium gas) in the perineum.

Accuracy in administering the gases is important for the prevention of complications.

What are the steps in cryosurgery?

First, the cancerous gland is subjected to -140 degrees Celsius using argon gas. Ice crystals form inside the cancerous cells until they freeze and are killed.

Then it is warmed using helium gas. The freezing process kills cancerous cells by...

  • dehydrating them
  • altering the pH levels inside the gland
  • preventing the red blood cells from flowing to tumor.

It is also found that when your gland experiences a temperature of -140 degrees Celsius, your body produces anti-bodies that help destroy the tumor.

If you have a specific question about these new treatments that info on this page isn't able to answer, click here to ask at Prostate Cancer Questions and Answers.

When is cryotherapy effective?

Cryosurgery is one of the effective new treatments for prostate cancer if...

  • you have early stage tumor or locally advanced (spread is limited to the outer edge of the gland) and radical prostatectomy is out of the question or

  • your tumor has recurred after being treated with radiation and it is now resistant to radiation.

Between the two new treatments that involve surgery, cryosurgery may not be suitable if . . .

  • you have had prostatectomy and the tumor has returned,

  • you have severe urinary symptoms or

  • you have a large gland.
However, the problem of a large gland can be remedied with the following treatments: hormone therapy first to shrink the gland followed by cryosurgery.

Now let's check out another one of the new treatments called robotic surgery.

What is robotic surgery for prostate cancer?

It is also known as robotic laparoscopic prostatectomy. It is one of the latest new treatments. The first robotic surgery was done in 2000.

In traditional open surgery, your prostate gland is removed through an incision in your lower abdomen or perineum. In robotic surgery, your prostate gland is also surgically removed but it is done through a much smaller incision around your navel.

The surgeon also uses robotic arms which he manipulates by using a console (just like a joystick for a video game).

What are the advantages of robotic surgery?

Both the new treatments have similar benefits such as:

  • You lose less blood during your operation

  • Your nerve fibers and blood vessels which are needed for healthy sexual functions are protected because your surgeon can move more precisely and with better control

  • You stay at the hospital for a shorter period of time and

  • You recover faster compared to the more invasive type of treatments.

But just like the traditional method of surgery, robotic prostate surgery is only intended for early stage prostate cancer.

Related Article: Stages of Prostate Cancer

Between the two treatments that involve surgery, cryosurgery is the least invasive. However, many experts think it is not invasive enough to destroy the tumor.

The third latest option among the treatments is proton therapy.

What is proton radiation therapy?

Proton radiation therapy is a latest treatment which utilizes protons to carry radiation to the cancer. Radiation is delivered in a beam which targets the tumor with exact precision. This avoids the healthy cells and organs nearby or surrounding or it. One of the benefits of this new treatment option is milder and fewer side effects.

These latest new treatments for prostate cancer are not as popular as the other types of treatment yet. The new treatments, especially proton radiation, still lack comparative studies of survival rates.

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