Treatment for Prostate Cancer
The four types of treatment for prostate cancer are active surveillance, surgery, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy.
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Types of Prostate Cancer TreatmentThere are four main types of treatment for prostate cancer:
Watchful Waiting (aka Active Surveillance)
- NCI: Prostate Cancer - Radiation Therapy
- NCI: Definition - Radiation: Radioactive Seed Implants
- NCI: Definition - Radiation: External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT)
Chemotherapy is sometimes used to treat prostate cancer as well:
Possible Treatment Side Effects
Common side effects for prostate cancer treatment include urinary problems, erectile dysfunction, and rectal bleeding. Side effects vary widely, depending on severity of disease and the type of treatment:
Gene therapy and immune therapies are currently being investigated, but are presently only being used in experimental treatments on a very small scale:
- NCI: Prostate Cancer: News types of treatment are being tested in clinical trials
- PSA rising - Anti-Cancer Vaccine
- Prostate Cancer Foundation: Emerging Therapies
- PSA rising - Gene Therapies
There are a number of holistic treatments and diets recommended for prostate cancer patients:
Communicating with Your Health Care Providers
- Bring a friend or family member with you to your appointments, not only to provide support but to lend an extra ear and ask questions you may not have thought of.
- Don't be afraid to ask any questions you feel you need the answer to, even if you may be scared of the answer.
- Write down any questions ahead of time and jot down the answers as your health-care provider walks you through them. Don't be afraid to ask for clarification on anything.
After Treatment for Prostate CancerAfter you've finished treatment for prostate cancer you are beginning a new phase in your survivor journey: recovery. This can be a good time to assess and share with others how you feel emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. By telling your story, you can not only put into perspective your thoughts and feelings but you can provide hope to others who are going through a similar journey themselves, whether it be with prostate cancer, another form of cancer, or a completely different disease or crisis.
Remission & RecoveryFinishing treatment doesn't necessarily mean that any worries about your health go away. Make sure you keep up with the check-ups your doctor schedules for you, and do all you can to lower your risk for a recurrence:
- WebMD.com: Prostate Cancer Guide - Care After Treatment
- Prostate Cancer Foundation: Lifestyle
- National Cancer Institute: Prostate Cancer - Follow-up Care
- American Cancer Society: What Will Happen After Treatment for Prostate Cancer?