Getting Treated For Prostate Cancer

Your doctor says you have signs of prostate tumor. This is not news to ignore and you should begin prostate cancer treatment as soon as possible. But this cancer progresses slowly, so the treatment chosen depends on the stage of development of the prostate tumor. Here are the ways that prostate cancer is treated based on how advanced your condition is.

Active Surveillance

Because this tumor grows so slowly, if you are in the early stages of the cancer, your doctor may suggest that you hold off on any aggressive treatment. You'll see the doctor every few months to have the progression of the tumor evaluated. It could be years before you develop any symptoms. By waiting, you also avoid any uncomfortable side effects from the other treatments. When the tumor has reached the size where it can become a health problem, your doctor will recommend one of the other treatments.

Removal of the Prostate Tumor

A surgeon will remove the tumor and all or part of your prostate gland. If the tumor is large enough that the doctor suspects it has begun to spread, they will remove more tissue from around the tumor. This can result in some uncomfortable side effects, such as:

  • urine leaking
  • erectile dysfunction

Radiation Treatment of the Prostate Tumor

Surgery may not remove all of the cancerous cells if the tumor has begun to spread. The cancer cells will be lodged in the surrounding tissue and can develop other cancer cells, which may spread throughout the body. Before that can happen, your doctor may suggest radiation treatment to kill the cancer cells in and around the prostate.

Two types of radiation treatment can be used:

  • a focused beam of radiation on an area around the prostate kills any cancer cells it comes into contact with
  • radioactive pellets are placed in the prostate gland to kill the cancer cells

You may need several sessions of radiation therapy to make sure all of the cancer cells have been killed. You may also have a number of side effects from this treatment including:

  • blood in your stool
  • frequent diarrhea
  • burning sensation while urinating
  • erectile dysfunction

Chemical Treatment of the Prostate Cancer

As the prostate cancer becomes more advanced, cancer cells can be spread through the bloodstream to other parts of the body. When your doctor suspects that this is the case, chemotherapy is needed to find and destroy those cells. Medications will be injected into your bloodstream or given to you to drink. As the chemicals make their way through the blood, the cancer cells absorb them and are killed. It will take several chemotherapy sessions to remove all of the cancer cells. Some of the side effects you may have with this treatment include:

  • appetite loss
  • open sores in your mouth
  • frequent diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • loss of hair

With both radiation treatment and chemotherapy, the side effects go away after the treatment has been completed. For more information, contact a center like Unity Urology PC.