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New treatments and techniques for prostate cancer

Previous page: Prostate cancer treatment (2)

Team approach

The trend nowadays is for a team of specialists to treat people with cancer, with your original doctor kept informed as to your progress. You may have a medical oncologist (specialist in cancer treatment), a surgeon, a radiation oncologist (specialist in radiation therapy), and so on.

Keyhole surgery (laparoscopic prostatectomy)

In surgery using this technique, the prostate is removed through extremely small incisions, thereby reducing the starin on the body and improving recovery time.

 

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is a treatment that uses liquid gas to freeze and destroy prostate cancer cells.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping the cells from dividing. In different forms, it is used in the treatment of many cancers. The way the chemotherapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.

Biologic therapy

Biologic therapy (also called biotherapy or immunotherapy) is a treatment that uses the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. Substances made by the body or manufactured in a laboratory are used to boost, direct, or restore the body’s natural defences against cancer.

High-intensity focused ultrasound

High-intensity focused ultrasound is a treatment that uses ultrasound (high frequency and therefore high-energy sound waves) to destroy cancer cells. An endorectal probe is used to make the sound waves to treat prostate cancer.


How do you decide which prostate cancer treatment is best?

Of course, you'd like to get rid of the prostate cancer completely. But this may not be necessary or desirable. If you're 70 or so with a slow-growing cancer, you might prefer not to have treatment and avoid the side-effects, which as we've seen, can be quite distressing.

On the other hand, if you're younger, say around 50, and your cancer is more aggressive, you might want to go for surgery or another treatment to give you a better shot at a long life.

Frankly, every treatment has its good and bad points, so it's important to weigh things up carefully with respect to your particular situation and not to take precipitous action. Get the statistics on the prostate procedures you're considering, and discuss things with your doctor, urologist or other prostate cancer specialist until you're quite clear about your choices, after all, it's your quality of life and maybe survival, not theirs!


Prostate Health News


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