A patient with prostate cancer can choose to have the prostate surgically removed to clear the cancer from the body. The procedure is known as Radical Prostatectomy. It is most appropriate in cases where the cancer is localized and has not spread beyond the prostate. However, even when the cancer is localized, a urologist will determine the progression of the disease before recommending surgery. Low risk localized prostate cancer is unlikely to progress and a radical prostatectomy is unnecessary. On the other hand, when the cancer is aggressive and is likely to result in death if untreated, surgery is definitely the most appropriate choice.
Radical prostatectomy is recommended for patients under the age of 75 , or those with a life expectancy of at least ten years. This is because they are more likely to preserve their sexual and urinary functions after the surgery and they have a stronger chance of outliving any side effects the surgery might have.
2. Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy, or radiotherapy is the use of radiation in high doses to kill malignant cancer cells or slow their development. Unlike radical prostatectomy, it can be used to treat localized prostate cancer and even advanced prostate cancer. It may be applied in combination with other treatment options such as hormone therapy. It may even be applied if a patient undergoes a radical prostatectomy but the procedure fails to eliminate the cancer fully or if the cancer recurs.
Radiation therapy can be administered externally or internally. When done externally, it is referred to as external beam radiation and is very much like having an X-ray. When administered internally, it is referred to as brachytherapy or internal radiation therapy. In this procedure, a radiation implant is placed inside the body near the affected organ. After a while, the implant ceases to produce radiation. The implant, however, remains in the body.
Both radical prostatectomy and radiation therapy are suitable treatment options and choosing between them may seem a little daunting. The professional opinion of a urologist can help by pointing out the finer points of each choice. The patient also may research the subject by reading up on the various options. There are many sites that offer reliable material on this subject.
For more information about treatment options for prostate cancer, visit the “Advanced Urology Institute” website.