Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer

Treatment options for prostate cancer
Generally speaking, organs will stop growing when the body enters full adulthood – at around 25 years of age. The prostate, however, continues to grow until a man reaches the age where his testosterone decreases. As testosterone decreases, a specific enzyme in the prostate will try to convert testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in greater quantities, causing prostate tissue to increase and the prostate to grow in size. Sometimes, however, the prostate can grow abnormally large. An abnormally large prostate may eventually lead to a variety of diseases related to the prostate, including prostate cancer. 
 
Treatment options for prostate cancer are determined by location, size, stage of cancer, and physical condition of the patient. Currently, patients have a variety of options from which to choose in the treatment of prostate cancer, including: 
 

Surgery

- Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy: This type of  surgery has been developed from traditional open  abdominal surgery. With this method, the doctor inserts a  tiny camera called a laparoscope and other special  instruments through 5 tiny incisions in the abdomen below  the navel, and performs the surgery via the images viewed  on a monitor. The results of this type of surgery include  less pain, faster recovery, fewer side effects, and better    treatment results than those associated with open      abdominal surgery.
- Robotic–assisted da Vinci Surgery or Da Vinci® Prostatectomy): This procedure involves the use of robotic arms which are controlled by the surgeon. It not only has the advantages of less pain and faster recovery time as is the case with laparoscopic surgery, but also reduces the chances of urinary incontinence or erectile dysfunction post-surgery.
 

Radiation Therapy

 

This includes both brachytherapy (internal radiation) and external beam radiation. The type of radiation therapy used depends on whether the level of the prostate cancer is low-risk, intermediate-risk, or high-risk.
 

Chemotherapy

Improved treatment results are currently being seen with chemotherapy. At the same time, doctors also have ways to help relieve and minimize the side effects.
 

Hormone Therapy

This is often used as an additional treatment after surgery or in cases where the cancer is in a metastatic stage. With this treatment, the physician will try to reduce or stop the body from producing the male hormone testosterone through medication – or in some cases, surgically remove the testicles completely.
 

 
By Dr. Apichart Panichevaluk, Radiologist, Horizon Cancer Center, Bumrungrad Hospital

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