Prostate Cancer (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Radiation therapy may be used alone or combined with hormone treatment or surgery to treat prostate cancer. Like surgery, it is most effective in treating cancer that has not spread outside the prostate. When combined with surgery, radiation is used to destroy any cancer cells that might be left behind and to relieve pain when the cancer has spread.
There are two main types of radiation treatment for prostate cancer:
Radiation treatment may cause erection problems and bladder problems. It sometimes causes diarrhea. The ability to have an erection sometimes returns or at least improves over time. So does the ability to control urination.
Side effects are common. Some men develop long-term problems that may have a big impact on the quality of their lives. Long-term problems that can be caused by radiation treatment include:
People sometimes use complementary therapies along with medical treatment to help relieve symptoms and side effects of cancer treatments. Some of the complementary therapies that may be helpful include:
Mind-body treatments like those mentioned above may help you feel better and cope better with treatment. These treatments also may reduce chronic low back pain, joint pain, headaches, and pain from treatments.
Before you try a complementary therapy, talk to your doctor about the possible value and potential side effects. Let your doctor know if you are already using any such therapies. Complementary therapies are not meant to take the place of standard medical treatment, but they may improve your quality of life and help you deal with the stress and side effects of cancer treatment.
You may be interested in taking part in research studies called clinical trials. Clinical trials are designed to find better ways to treat prostate cancer patients and are based on the most up-to-date information. People who do not want standard treatments or are not cured by standard treatments may want to take part in clinical trials.
Check with your doctor to see whether clinical trials are available in your area and whether you might be eligible.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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