for Prostate Cancer – Radiation Surgery or Hormone Therapy
There are 232,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the US every
year, and each man needs to make decision as to their treatment
options. There are some factors to consider before making a decision.
There are different types and prostate cancer. According to Dr. Tim
Johnson, a correspondent for ABC News Tonight, “In some cases —
especially if a man has a slow-growing form of cancer or other more
severe health conditions — "watchful waiting" may be all that is
necessary. It involves regular exams and blood tests to make sure the
cancer isn't spreading faster than predicted.”
In the Special Feature called “Second Option: Prostate Cancer,” Dr.
Johnson interviewed Dr. Durado Brooks. Brooks told the reporter that
"The man should know, for instance, what is found at biopsy. The biopsy
gives information to the man and his treating physician in order to make
a decision." Brooks is Cancer Society director of prostate cancer.
According to WebMD, prostate cancer grows when exposed to the male
hormone testosterone and its related hormones. A hormone treatment can
be initiated to stop the production of testosterone and all androgens
either temporarily or permanently. The treatment is usually initiated
in patients where the cancer has already spread.
Surgery is another option. Dr. Brooks said "It is recommended that a
man talk both to a surgeon and a radiation oncologist so that he gets
the perspectives from both of these experts”.
Each treatment will have different side effects. Johnson says a man has
to choose which side effects he wants to avoid while weighing how
effective a treatment will be. After the decision is made, the patient
then needs to decide which treatment center is best. To determine the
right center, Dr. Brooks says, “just ask”. Many surgeons compile data
as to whether a man was able to have full urinary function after the
Another new treatment is IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy).
The advantage to this type of treatment is that it can focus on a small
portion of the prostate leaving the healthy tissue alone. The
disadvantage to this therapy is the time involved. It can take five ˝
hour treatments per week for several weeks. This is why many men choose
radioactive seed therapy. This is a one day procedure where the surgeon
implants small radioactive pellets into the tumor. Cure rates are about
the same for both types of treatments (internal radiation and external
radiation) according to Dr. Johnson.
is less likely to cause problems with urine control. Both surgical and
radiation treatments are very effective if the cancer is caught early.
By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer
Books on Cancer
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