A Quick Guide to Prostate Cancer Treatment Options

A Quick Guide to Prostate Cancer Treatment Options

Cancer is the leading cause of death in the world. In 2020 alone, it was responsible for nearly 10 million deaths.

Some of the most common cancers include breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, and skin cancer.

Prostate cancer is also common among men. In fact, it’s the second leading cause of death in men worldwide. Fortunately, there are ways to treat it.

Were you recently diagnosed? Want to learn more about the different prostate cancer treatment options?

If so, you’re at the right place—we’ll be going over them in detail below. Keep reading for everything that you need to know!

1. Radical Prostatectomy

Radical prostatectomy is a procedure in which a surgeon removes the prostate gland and the surrounding tissues. Depending on the situation, they may make a large incision in the lower abdomen to access the prostate or use specialized cameras and tools to remove it through smaller incisions.

While death and serious disability caused by the surgery is rare, it can cause side effects such as urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Other complications include blood clots, groin hernia, narrowing of the urethra, and infection. 

The good news is that they can usually be prevented if you get the procedure done at an advanced prostate cancer center—so be sure to do your research when searching for the best urologist. 

2. Hormone Therapy 

Androgens—more specifically, testosterone—can cause prostate tissue to grow. The opposite is also true. That is, we can slow down the process of prostate cancer by reducing the body’s production of these hormones.

In fact, hormone therapy is the first-line treatment for those who’ve received a prostate cancer diagnosis.

Some common drugs used in prostate cancer hormone therapy include anti-androgens, LHRH antagonists, and LHRH analogs. Other androgen-suppressing drugs such as estrogen can also be used to prevent the testicles from producing testosterone.

Surgical removal of the testicles is another option, though it’s less common due to the fact that it’s permanent and irreversible.

3. Immunotherapy 

Immunotherapy, also known as biologic therapy, works by stimulating a patient’s own immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells. Not only can it slow down the growth of tumors, but it can also prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.

One immunotherapy that’s been approved for prostate cancer is a vaccine called Provenge. A prescription medicine, it uses your own blood to stimulate the immune system into fighting back against prostate cancer cells. Generally speaking, it’s used when the cancer no longer responds to hormone therapy (learn more about Provenge treatment here).

Common side effects include fatigue, chills, nausea, fever, back pain, and joint ache.

Different Prostate Cancer Treatment Options

As you can see, there are different prostate cancer treatment options available. While they won’t cure the disease, they can significantly slow down its growth and relieve symptoms. 

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