In 2020 alone, there were an estimated 191,930 newly diagnosed cases of prostate cancer here in the United States. Once a man has a diagnosis of prostate cancer, he will have questions about treatment.
Let’s go over the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about prostate cancer treatment, and where you can go for an evaluation and possible treatment of your prostate health.
1. What Type of Treatment Will I Receive for Prostate Cancer?
In the early stages, your doctor will usually recommend either surgery, radiation, or surveillance. Men whose prostate cancer is still within the prostate may opt to have radiation treatment.
More extensive or aggressive prostate cancer will likely be recommended treatment via radical prostatectomy, which is the complete removal of the prostate gland. In metastatic prostate cancer, your doctor may also recommend hormone therapy to thwart the cancer from growing or spreading further.
With surveillance, your physician will continuously monitor your prostate cancer to see if it’s growing or spreading (metastasizing). The doctor will recommend treatment if the cancer begins to spread.
2. How Likely Is Treatment to Work?
When compared to other common cancers, prostate cancer has an excellent overall prognosis. Fortunately, up to 85% of prostate cancer cases are discovered when the cancer is still local or regional, which is when it is more controllable. Even better, statistics show that the overall five-year survival rate for treated prostate cancer is almost 98%.
3. What Type of Surgery Will I Need?
If you have extensive cancer in the prostate, your urologist may recommend a radical prostatectomy. This is done via a minimally invasive laparoscopic approach. In rare cases, a perineal prostatectomy will be performed. During this procedure, your surgeon makes an incision between the scrotum and the anus to remove the prostate. It’s not used very often because your surgeon is more likely to damage nerves, and the surgeon also cannot evaluate your surrounding lymph nodes for cancer metastasis.
4. How Does Radiation Treat Prostate Cancer?
Radiation is an option if surgery is not a feasible solution, particularly if you’re older or have other health concerns.
In radiation therapy, a specialist will direct one or more radiation beams toward your tumor. The radiation interferes with the DNA inside the cells. As a result, the cancer cells cannot divide and grow, so they die.
Your urologist will determine what type of radiation is best for you. For instance, the doctor may recommend external beam radiation or 3-D conformal radiation. You may have heard of radiation seeds being used to treat prostate cancer, but this treatment has largely fallen out of favor due to its high incidence of irreparable side effects – plus the fact that prostatectomy is no longer an option after having radiation seeds.
5. Will I Need Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy may be given if you have cancer that has spread beyond your prostate. While it usually doesn’t put the cancer into remission, it can help you live longer and improve your quality of life by lessening your symptoms. Sometimes, a urologist will recommend chemotherapy after surgery.
Urologist in Phoenix for Prostate Cancer Treatment
If you develop prostate cancer, you will want to have the best equipment and the most highly skilled urologist available to treat it. Here at Ironwood Urology, our own Dr. Desi Avila is a urologist who has many years of successful experience in treating men who have prostate cancer. Dr. Avila conducts routine PSA (prostate-specific antigen) tests, digital rectal exams (DREs), and tests and treatment for everything from BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlarged prostate) to erectile dysfunction (ED) to male fertility.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Avila, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (480) 961-2323 or by filling out our easy-to-use appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you beat prostate cancer once and for all.