If you have been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may find the various treatment options very confusing. You may question which treatment option is best for you. Each has its own benefits and risks. And no single treatment option is right for every man with prostate cancer. When trying to determine what treatment is right for you, you will have to consider the options based on various factors including:
The grade and stage of the cancer
Your medical and surgical history
Other important factors
Ultimately, you will need to decide for yourself, with the help and guidance of your doctor, friends, and family, what is the best treatment for you.
Early-stage prostate cancer refers to cancer that is contained entirely within the prostate. It has not spread or metastasized to local tissues or distant body parts such as the bone. This type of prostate cancer is usually called localized prostate cancer and is the most curable type of prostate cancer. Since the majority (but not all) of prostate cancers are slow-growing, many men diagnosed with prostate cancer may die from other causes before the prostate cancer causes any significant problems. Therefore it is important to carefully consider the various treatment options, including the potential risks and side effects of the each individual treatment, before coming to a decision on your treatment plan.
There are essentially five options for dealing with prostate cancer. The three active forms of treatment include surgery and radiation (either external beam radiation or radioactive seed implantation), and for low to intermediate-risk prostate cancer, these treatments will often lead to cure when used alone. Men with intermediate-risk or high-risk prostate cancer may need combination therapies to achieve a disease control.
The five options for prostate cancer include:
Surgery (either the standard radical retropubic prostatectomy or the less invasive robotic radical prostatectomy)
External beam radiation therapy (IMRT is the most common)
Radioactive seed implantation (or brachytherapy)
Androgen deprivation therapy (or hormone therapy)
Active surveillance (sometimes called watchful waiting or expectant management)
Your choice of surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, or active surveillance may depend on various factors such as:
Your age and life expectancy
Past medical history and current medical problems including prior surgeries, heart disease and diabetes
Your personal preference
Your concerns about the potential side effects of certain prostate cancer therapies.
At The Everett Clinic, all of the treatment options for prostate cancer will be available to you. Your doctor will go over the treatment options with you in great detail and will tailor a treatment plan that is right for you.