If you’re experiencing painful and frequent urination, new onset of erectile dysfunction, pain in the lower back, rectal area, and/or upper thighs, don’t wait to seek treatment— consult a urological surgeon right away, as these are potential signs of prostate cancer.
Your urological surgeon will carry out a comprehensive assessment, which includes a series of tests, to confirm a diagnosis. If results come back positive for prostate cancer, they will talk to you about your treatment options, and possibly explain the pros and cons of each.
There are a number of treatment options available for prostate cancer. The method your doctor will recommend will depend on the type of prostate cancer you have, the stage, your overall health, and personal preferences.
Hormone therapy and surgery are two of the most widely used treatment modalities for prostate cancer. The information provided below aims to give you a basic idea of the two treatment options.
Hormone Therapies for Prostate Cancer
Also known as androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), hormone therapy is regarded as the mainstay of treatment for metastatic prostate cancer. The following are some of the available hormone therapy options for prostate cancer:
o GnRH agonists (including leuprolide (Eligard, Lupron) and goserelin)- to reduce the amount of testosterone produced by the testicles.
o Anti-adrogens (including nilutamide (Nilandron) and enzalutamide (Xtandi))- When added to GnRH agonists, this helps prevent testosterone from attaching to tumor cells.
o Degarelix (Firmagon)- This is a subtype of GnRH agonist, and it works by blocking signals from the brain to the testes, thereby halting the production of androgens.
o Abiraterone (Zytiga)- This helps block an enzyme responsible for the production of androgens by cells in your body.
Prior to hormone treatment, you will need to undergo both a liver function test and a blood test to make sure your liver can break down the prescribed medications properly.
Surgical Treatment for Prostate Cancer
If prostate cancer cells continue to multiply despite the absence of male hormones, it signifies that you have a hormone-resistant type of prostate cancer and are no longer a candidate for further hormone therapy. In such case, your urological surgeon may recommend other modalities to stop the spread of your cancer.
If the cancer has not yet spread to tissues or organs outside your prostate, your doctor may recommend surgery.
The following are the most common types of surgical procedures done to treat prostate cancer:
o Radical prostatectomy– This involves removal of the entire prostate gland and the seminal vesicles
o Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)- This refers to the removal of cancerous tissue in the prostate to alleviate pressure on the urethra and make urination easier
o Cryosurgery- This involves freezing of cancer cells. Probes that secrete cold gases are placed within the prostate to destroy the prostate gland.
Men whose prostate cancer has not spread or has only spread to nearby areas generally have exceptionally good survival rates. Of course, each patient’s situation is unique, so you should consult with your doctor regarding expectations for a cure and survival rate.
Prostate Cancer Treatment in Phoenix, Arizona
At Ironwood Urology, Dr. Desiderio Avila, Jr., our board-certified urological surgeon and men’s health expert, combines his extensive experience and expertise with sophisticated technology to deliver the best possible treatment outcomes for prostate cancer and all other types of male reproductive cancers. Just as he has helped scores of patients in Phoenix who are living with prostate cancer, he will work closely with you to help you achieve complete remission or even successfully defeat the disease.