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The 7 Methods for Treating Early-Stage Prostrate Cancer
If you have been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer, it can be a worrying time. But the good news is that you have a large variety of treatment options at your disposal. The method most suitable for you depends on various factors, like your overall health, your age, your risk group, and even your values. Here are the seven main methods for treating prostate cancer:
1) Surgery. This is usually the prevalent option for men who are generally in good health and have early-stage prostate cancer. There are three different types of surgery for treating prostate cancer – laparoscopic surgery, open prostatectomy, perineal prostatectomy.
2) Hormone Therapy. This is a treatment that will prevent your body from producing testosterone, since this hormone helps cancer cells grow. Stopping the hormone supply may cause the cells to grow slower or die altogether. This is a good option before having to move on to radiation therapy (if at all), since hormone therapy can be quite successful in shrinking tumors.
3) Radiation Therapy. This one uses radiation in high doses in order to destroy the cancer. This is the best treatment option for men who are older and who have some overall health problems. The different types of radiation therapy include external beam radiation and internal beam radiation (with Brachytherapy being the main kind).
4) Chemotherapy. Here drugs are used to kill cells that are rapidly growing, including cancer cells, or course. It is possible to administer chemotherapy in the form of a pill or intravenously through your arm. This is a more suitable option for patients in which the cancer has spread to other areas of the body. This is also a good choice when the cancer does not respond to hormone therapy.
5) IMRT – Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy. This is a new development in external beam radiation therapy. It is a technology that targets radiation into the cancer cells with precision. Therefore, the damage to the surrounding tissue (such as the bladder or the rectum) is minimal.
6) Proton Beam Therapy. This is another new kind of external beam radiation. Instead of x-rays it uses protons, which minimize the damage to the surrounding tissue. Protons can be administered in very high doses, unlike x-rays.
7) Cryosurgery. This type of treatment involves freezing the prostate, so that cancer cells can be destroyed. A special probe is used to deliver liquid nitrogen to the prostate, which is inserted into an incision made between the anus and the scrotum. Sometimes the liquid nitrogen is also administered through a needle, without having to make an incision.
Apart from these traditional seven methods, there is a revolutionary new technology called HIFU – High Intensity Focused Ultrasound – and it has shown to be highly successful in treating early-stage prostate cancer. It works by intersecting sound waves at one focal point, which is targeted directly at malignant cancer cells, thereby destroying them, while leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed. The results of studies done on HIFU over the last ten years have been quite remarkable, and in most cases, the patients are able to maintain their healthy and active lifestyle very quickly after the treatment is completed.
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The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.