Prostate Cancer (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
What is Radiation Therapy?
The goal of radiotherapy for men with localized prostate cancer is to deliver enough radiation to the tumor while minimizing radiation to adjacent normal tissues.
Two types of radiation therapy are used in prostate cancer -- external beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy. Both are used to treat prostate cancer that has not spread outside the prostate. In terms of survival, radiotherapy appears to achieve similar results as those obtained with radical prostatectomy.
What is Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is the also used against prostate cancer.
Newer chemotherapy medicines, such as docetaxel (Taxotere), have shown some promise in prolonging the survival of some patients with extensive prostate cancer. They may also decrease the pain related to widespread cancer. However, this comes at the cost of significant side effects that may impact quality of life.
Symptom palliation: The primary approach to the management of symptoms in patients with advanced prostate cancer is systemic therapy with both older and newer forms of hormomal treatments, then chemotherapy. Today immunotherapy and radioactive isotope treatments may be used. Radiation to painful bone lesions may be used. Throughout all of this, optimal pain medicine use and other therapies for cancer-related symptoms should be administered. For patients with castrate-resistant prostate cancer, palliative therapy may be indicated to treat symptomatic bone metastases or symptoms arising from progressive disease.
What Are Other Local Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer?
Besides radical prostatectomy, external beam radiation and/or brachytherapy, cryosurgical ablation of the prostate and high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) have emerged as alternative therapeutic options in patients with clinically-localized prostate cancer.
Cryotherapy and high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) have been used to destroy tissue, either by freezing or by generating local thermal energy. These techniques can be applied focally, sub-totally, or to the entire prostate gland. However, the role of these techniques remains uncertain. Potential advantages in men with localized disease include the ability to destroy cancer cells using a relatively noninvasive procedure. As such, these procedures are associated with minimal blood loss and pain. There is also faster post-treatment convalescence.
This technique involves inserting a probe through a small skin incision and freezing areas of cancer in the prostate.
Last Reviewed 11/21/2017
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Prostate cancer is the most common noncutaneous cancer among males.