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Prostate Cancer

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More than research, results.

Cancer Institute of Florida is committed to providing those with prostate cancer the latest and most effective treatments and therapies available.

Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer

 

Prostate Cancer Orlando
The appropriate treatment for prostate cancer is not clear. Treatment options vary based on the stage of the tumor. In the early stages, talk to your doctor about several options including surgery, radiation therapy, or, in older patients, monitoring the cancer without active treatment.

Prostate cancer that has spread may be treated with drugs to reduce testosterone levels, surgery to remove the testes or chemotherapy.

Surgery, radiation therapy and hormonal therapy can interfere with sexual desire or performance on either a temporary or permanent basis. Patients are encouraged to discuss concerns with their health care provider.

Surgery

Surgery is usually only recommended after a thorough evaluation and discussion of all treatment options. A man considering surgery should be aware of the benefits and risks of the procedure.

Surgery to remove the prostate gland is often recommended for treating stages A and B prostate cancers. This is a lengthy procedure and complications are possible. There are many different surgery options.

Orchiectomy

Orchiectomy alters hormone production and may be recommended for cancer that has spread to other areas of the body. There may be some bruising and swelling right after surgery, but this will gradually go away. The loss of testosterone production may lead to problems with sexual function, osteoporosis (thinning of the bones), and loss of muscle mass.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is used primarily to treat stage A, B or C prostate cancers. Whether radiation is as good as prostate removal is unclear. The decision about which treatment to choose can be difficult. In patients whose health makes surgery too risky, radiation therapy is often the preferred alternative. Radiation therapy to the prostate gland is either external or internal:

External beam radiation therapy

External beam radiation therapy is done in a radiation oncology center by specially trained radiation oncologists, usually on an outpatient basis. Before treatment, a therapist will mark the part of the body that is to be treated with a special pen. The radiation is delivered to the prostate gland using a device that looks like a normal x-ray machine. The treatment itself is generally painless. Side effects may include impotence, incontinence, appetite loss, fatigue, skin reactions such as redness and irritation, rectal burning or injury, diarrhea, inflamed bladder (cystitis), and blood in urine. External beam radiation therapy is usually done 5 days a week for 6 - 8 weeks.

Prostate brachytherapy

Prostate brachytherapy or internal radiation involves placing radioactive seeds inside you, directly into the prostate. A surgeon inserts small needles through the skin behind your scrotum to inject the seeds. The seeds are so small that you don't feel them. They can be temporary or permanent. Because internal radiation therapy is directed to the prostate, it reduces damage to the tissues around the prostate. Prostate brachytherapy may be given for early, slow-growing prostate cancers. It also may be given with external beam radiation therapy for some patients with more advanced cancer. Side effects may include pain, swelling or bruising in your penis or scrotum, red-brown urine or semen, impotence, incontinence and diarrhea.

Radiation is sometimes used for pain relief when cancer has spread to the bone.

Medications

Medicines can be used to adjust the levels of testosterone. This is called hormonal manipulation. Because prostate tumors require testosterone to grow, reducing the testosterone level often works very well at preventing further growth and spread of the cancer. Hormone manipulation is mainly used to relieve symptoms in men whose cancer has spread. It may also be done by surgically removing the testes.

Additionally, other drugs may be used to treat advanced prostate cancer. These medicines block the production of testosterone. The procedure is often called chemical castration, because it has the same result as surgical removal of the testes. However, unlike surgery, it is reversible. The drugs must be given by injection, usually every 3 - 6 months. Possible side effects include nausea and vomiting, hot flashes, anemia, lethargy, osteoporosis, reduced sexual desire and impotence.

Other medications used for hormonal therapy include androgen-blocking drugs, which prevent testosterone from attaching to prostate cells. Possible side effects include erectile dysfunction, loss of sexual desire, liver problems, diarrhea and enlarged breasts.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is often used to treat prostate cancers that are resistant to hormonal treatments. An oncology specialist will usually recommend a single drug or a combination of drugs.

For detailed information about specific prostate cancer chemotherapy drugs, what they are used for, ways in which they are administered, along with possible therapies, contact us today.

Prostate Cancer Education

Though prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among men, prostate cancer has a survival rate of over 90% if detected early. Dr. Raul Castillo is educating men of a certain age about the importance of regular screenings and physical health exams for both prostate and testicular cancer, which greatly reduce risks and increases the ability to catch and cure prostate cancer early.