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How Do They Treat Prostate Cancer

What Are The Mortality Rates For Prostate Cancer

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Most men who have prostate cancer dont die from it. Still, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in men in the United States, behind lung cancer. About one in every 41 men will die of prostate cancer.

The five-year relative survival rate for all stages of prostate cancer is 98%. This means that, on average, men with prostate cancer are about 98% as likely as men who dont have prostate cancer to be alive at least five years after diagnosis. Of course, survival rates are general predictions and depend on the stage of cancer, the treatments the patient receives, and other factors.

Certain Factors Affect Prognosis And Treatment Options

The prognosis and treatment options depend on the following:

  • The stage of the cancer .
  • The patients age.
  • Whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has recurred .

Treatment options also may depend on the following:

  • Whether the patient has other health problems.
  • The expected side effects of treatment.
  • Past treatment for prostate cancer.
  • The wishes of the patient.

Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die of it.

Getting Help With Treatment Decisions

Making such a complex decision is often hard to do by yourself. You might find it helps to talk with your family and friends before making a decision. You might also find it helpful to speak with other men who have faced or are currently facing the same issues. The American Cancer Society and other organizations offer support programs where you can meet and discuss these and other cancer-related issues. For more information about our programs, call us toll-free at 1-800-227-2345 or see Find Support Programs and Services.

Itâs important to know that each manâs experience with prostate cancer is different. Just because someone you know had a good experience with a certain type of treatment doesnât mean the same will be true for you.

You might also want to consider getting more than one medical opinion, perhaps even from different types of doctors. For early-stage cancers, it is natural for surgical specialists, such as urologists, to favor surgery and for radiation oncologists to lean more toward radiation therapy. Doctors specializing in newer types of treatment may be more likely to recommend their therapies. Talking to each of them might give you a better perspective on your options. Your primary care doctor may also be helpful in sorting out which treatment might be right for you.

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Another type of prostate issue is chronic prostatitis, or chronic pelvic pain syndrome. This condition causes pain in the lower back and groin area, and may cause urinary retention. Symptoms include leaking and discomfort. In severe cases, a catheter may be required to relieve the symptoms. If the problem is unresponsive to other treatments, your doctor may suggest a surgical procedure. If these do not work, your symptoms could progress and become chronic.

An acute bacterial infection can cause a burning sensation. Inflammation of the prostate can affect the bladder and result in discomfort and other symptoms. This is the most common urinary tract problem in men under 50, and the third most common in men over 65. The symptoms of acute bacterial prostatitis are similar to those of CPPS. Patients may experience a fever or chills as a result of the infection.

Choosing To Stop Treatment Or Choosing No Treatment At All

Treating Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer

For some people, when treatments have been tried and are no longer controlling the cancer, it could be time to weigh the benefits and risks of continuing to try new treatments. Whether or not you continue treatment, there are still things you can do to help maintain or improve your quality of life.

Some people, especially if the cancer is advanced, might not want to be treated at all. There are many reasons you might decide not to get cancer treatment, but its important to talk to your doctors and you make that decision. Remember that even if you choose not to treat the cancer, you can still get supportive care to help with pain or other symptoms.

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With Psa Testing Cancer

Google keeps track of what is searched most frequently. Since prostate cancer is common, its hardly surprising that people who research aches or pains down there in the lower part of the abdomen search for symptoms of prostate cancer.

The most commonly googled question related to prostate cancer is, What are the symptoms? Given whats published online, however, you would think that prostate cancer has all sorts of symptoms: urinary problems, pain, sexual difficulties, even rectal problems. The truth is that in this modern era of PSA testing, prostate cancer has no symptoms whatsoever! Prostate cancer is a totally silent process unless it is very advanced.

A Suggested Psa Screening Protocol

Its reasonable to start checking PSA yearly in men over the ages of 45. Men with a family history of prostate cancer or men who are African-American should start annual testing at age 40. Men over age 75 who are in good health should continue screening.

So what is the trigger level of PSA that should lead to performing a scan? As noted above, younger men who have small prostate glands should consider doing a scan if the PSA is over 2.5. In an older man, particularly if the prostate gland as determined by the finger exam is big, a PSA over 4.0 is a reasonable threshold for obtaining imaging . The PSA blood test has far surpassed the wildest dreams of the doctors who discovered it. Like any powerful tool, however, misuse can lead to over-treatment and unnecessary harm.

So much of the misinformation on the internet implies that every ache, pain, or problem located near the prostate could be caused by cancer. The fact that the most frequently asked question related to prostate cancer is about prostate cancer symptoms indicates that the public is being led into all kinds of unnecessary anxiety.

Know this: As long as the PSA is in the normal range, in general, men can rest assured that any prostate-related symptoms they are experiencing are most likely originating from something unrelated to cancer. PSA testing detects early stage prostate cancer so reliably that when the PSA is normal, one can be sure that any prostate-related symptoms are due to some other cause.

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What Causes Prostate Cancer

Experts arent sure why some cells in the prostate gland become cancerous . Genetics appear to play a role. For example:

  • Youre two to three times more likely to get prostate cancer if your father, brother or son has the disease.
  • Inherited mutated breast cancer genes and other gene mutations contribute to a small number of prostate cancers.

Early Versus Delayed Treatment

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For men who need hormone therapy, such as men whose PSA levels are rising after surgery or radiation or men with advanced prostate cancer who dont yet have symptoms, its not always clear when it is best to start hormone treatment. Some doctors think that hormone therapy works better if its started as soon as possible, even if a man feels well and is not having any symptoms. Some studies have shown that hormone treatment may slow the disease down and perhaps even help men live longer.

But not all doctors agree with this approach. Some are waiting for more evidence of benefit. They feel that because of the side effects of hormone therapy and the chance that the cancer could become resistant to therapy sooner, treatment shouldnt be started until a man has symptoms from the cancer. This issue is being studied.

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Treatments For Prostate Cancer Spread To Bones

If prostate cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it nearly always goes to the bones first. Bone metastasis can be painful and can cause other problems, such as fractures , spinal cord compression , or high blood calcium levels, which can be dangerous or even life threatening.

If the cancer has grown outside the prostate, preventing or slowing the spread of the cancer to the bones is a major goal of treatment. If the cancer has already reached the bones, controlling or relieving pain and other complications is also a very important part of treatment.

Treatments such as hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and vaccines may help with this, but other treatments specifically target bone metastasis and the problems it may cause.

What Is The Prostate Gland

The prostate is a gland about the size of a walnut. It is part of the male reproductive system and wraps around the tube that carries urine out of the bladder. It grows larger as you get older. If your prostate gets too large, it can cause health issues. Having prostate problems does not always mean you have cancer.

Sometimes a doctor may find a problem during a routine checkup or by doing a rectal exam. If you think there is something wrong with your prostate, see your doctor right away.

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Side Effects Of Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy may cause side effects associated with low testosterone, such as hot flashes, sweating, weight gain, reduced sexual desire and depression. Some men also may experience swollen breasts, depression, memory loss and heart problems. Eventually, the cancer may become resistant to hormone therapy. If hormone therapy stops working, doctors may switch treatments.

Does Msk Offer Proton Therapy For Prostate Cancer

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Some men with prostate cancer may choose to receive another form of external-beam radiation therapy called proton therapy. Proton therapy can deliver a high radiation dose to the prostate while lowering the radiation dose to normal surrounding tissue. It is unclear if there is any advantage to proton therapy compared with IMRT. We are now studying how these approaches compare in terms of side effects and outcomes at the New York Proton Center. These efforts are being led by radiation oncologist Daniel Gorovets.

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Radiation Treatment For Prostate Cancer

Radiation treatment is the use of radiation beams to destroy cancer cells or slow their growth.

Radiation treatment is usually recommended for prostate cancer:

  • if you are not well enough for surgery
  • if you have had surgery for prostate cancer but there are signs that not all the cancer has been removed
  • to relieve pain caused by cancer that has spread to the bones
  • to shrink blocks in your lymphatic or urinary system
  • when radiation treatment is your preferred treatment option

There are three types of radiation treatment for prostate cancer:

External beam radiotherapyThe most common radiation treatment for prostate cancer. The radiation beams are given from outside the body onto the area affected by cancer.

Low-dose-rate brachytherapy Low-dose-rate brachytherapy is an internal radiation treatment where radioactive seeds are permanently placed inside the prostate gland.

It is used when the cancer is low-risk and found only inside the prostate. It is only available in a few private centres in New Zealand.

After your radiation treatment, you will be radioactive and need to take special care at home. Your treatment team will explain what to do.

High-dose-rate brachytherapy High-dose-rate brachytherapy is an internal radiation treatment where radioactive sources are temporarily placed into the prostate with needles.

It is usually used in combination with external beam radiotherapy to treat higher-risk prostate cancer. It may also be used alone to treat low-risk prostate cancer.

Multidisciplinary Team For Prostate Cancer

After your test results, you and your doctor start to talk about your treatment. Your doctor usually meets with other specialists to get their opinions too.

A team of specialists meet to talk about the best treatment for you. They are called a multidisciplinary team .

The MDT look at national treatment guidelines or the latest evidence for the type of cancer you have. If you have any treatment preferences, your doctor will tell them about this.

The MDT will usually include the following professionals:

  • Urologist a doctor who treats problems with the prostate, kidneys, bladder and male reproductive system.
  • Surgeon a doctor who specialises in operating on the prostate.
  • Oncologist a doctor who treats people who have cancer.
  • Clinical nurse specialist a nurse who gives information about cancer, and support during treatment.
  • Radiologist a doctor who looks at scans and x-rays to diagnose problems.
  • Pathologist a doctor who looks at cells or body tissue under a microscope to diagnose cancer.

The MDT may also include:

  • a physiotherapist

The main types of treatment for early stage or locally advanced prostate cancer include:

High-intensity focused ultrasound or cryotherapy are treatments that use heat or cold to destroy prostate cancer cells. These are less common treatments for early prostate cancer.

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What Are Male Sex Hormones

Hormones are substances that are made by glands in the body. Hormones circulate in the bloodstream and control the actions of certain cells or organs.

Androgens are a class of hormones that control the development and maintenance of male characteristics. The most abundant androgens in men are testosterone and dihydrotestosterone .

Androgens are required for normal growth and function of the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system that helps make . Androgens are also necessary for prostate cancers to grow. Androgens promote the growth of both normal and cancerous prostate cells by binding to and activating the androgen receptor, a protein that is expressed in prostate cells . Once activated, the androgen receptor stimulates the expression of specific genes that cause prostate cells to grow .

Almost all testosterone is produced in the testicles a small amount is produced by the adrenal glands. Although prostate cells do not normally make testosterone, some prostate cancer cells acquire the ability to do so .

Chemotherapy For Prostate Cancer

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The decision on when to start chemotherapy is difficult and highly individualized based on several factors:What other treatment options or clinical trials are available.How well chemotherapy is likely to be tolerated.What prior therapies you have received.If radiation is needed prior to …

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Surgery For Prostate Cancer

Surgery is a common choice to try to cure prostate cancer if it is not thought to have spread outside the prostate gland.

The main type of surgery for prostate cancer is a radical prostatectomy. In this operation, the surgeon removes the entire prostate gland plus some of the tissue around it, including the seminal vesicles.

Finding Out If The Cancer Has Spread

To find out if cancer has spread outside of the prostate, doctors may perform the imaging tests listed below. Doctors are able to estimate the risk of spread, called metastasis, based on PSA levels, tumor grade, and other factors, but an imaging test can confirm and provide information about the cancers location.

Imaging tests may not always be needed. A CT scan or bone scan may not be necessary for those with no symptoms and low-risk, early-stage prostate cancer, as determined with information from the PSA test and biopsy. Learn more about when these tests are recommended to find out if the cancer has spread.

For people with advanced prostate cancer, ASCO recommends that 1 or more of the imaging tests below be done to provide more information about the disease and help plan the best treatment. This includes when there is a newly diagnosed, high-risk cancer if metastasis is suspected or confirmed if the cancer has returned following treatment or when the cancer grows during the treatment period. Learn more about this guideline on the ASCO website.

Magnetic resonance imaging . An MRI scan uses magnetic fields, not x-rays, to produce detailed images of the body. An MRI can be used to measure the tumors size, and a scan can focus specifically on the area of the prostate or on the whole body. A special dye called contrast medium is given before the scan to create a clearer picture, which is injected into a patients vein.

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What Types Of Hormone Therapy Are Used For Prostate Cancer

Hormone therapy for prostate cancer can block the production or use of androgens . Currently available treatments can do so in several ways:

  • reducing androgen production by the testicles
  • blocking the action of androgens throughout the body
  • block androgen production throughout the body

Treatments that reduce androgen production by the testicles are the most commonly used hormone therapies for prostate cancer and the first type of hormone therapy that most men with prostate cancer receive. This form of hormone therapy includes:

Treatments that block the action of androgens in the body are typically used when ADT stops working. Such treatments include:

Treatments that block the production of androgens throughout the body include:

How Do They Treat Prostate Cancer

Different Types of Treatment For Prostate Cancer

The only other thing I was drinking in the first 6 months after my diagnosis was green tea. I would drink about 4 glasses of green tea daily to go along with the increased water intake. I wasnt putting any other liquid into my body for the first 6 months. This was a big help in starting my road to recovery.

Once I started feeling better then I added organic soy milk to my diet as well. Soy milk isnt much like regular milk but once you get used to it then its not bad at all. To this day these are the only 3 liquids I have in my diet. To recap the 3 liquids I drink today are purified water,green tea,& organic soy milk. I put no other liquids into my body period.

Now, I want to chat a little more about meat & other aspects of a proper diet. As I said we dont need meat to live. I thought cutting or limiting meat in my diet would be to hard to accomplish. Well again my thinking was wrong. Was it easy? No! However, after a couple weeks then things were starting to get easier. I didnt cut all meats out of my diet but I did cut certain meats & eat moderate amounts of all others.

One meat that needs to be completely cut or at least very minimized is red meat . Too much Red meat consumption is not good for prostate health. I was eating a lot of fast food burgers & also red meat at home. I will say to at least cut red meat completely out of your diet until you get your prostate health back.

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