When you find out that you have prostate cancer, you are likely quite shocked at the news. After all, nobody expects to go to the doctor and find out they have cancer. However, once your initial shock wears off, it is time to become familiar with some of the many different treatment options for dealing with prostate cancer so that you are well-informed and ready for what is to come in your immediate future.
Chemotherapy and Radiation
Two of the most common treatments for prostate cancer are chemotherapy and radiation. Most people have heard these terms before, but do not necessarily know what they entail.
Chemotherapy is a form of prostate cancer treatment that uses combinations of drugs that are designed to attack and destroy rapidly reproducing cells inside the human body. Cancer cells are abnormal cells that reproduce at a faster rate than most other normal systems in the body. Chemotherapy can take the form of an oral pill or (more commonly) an intravenous infusion administered in a hospital or doctor's office.
Radiation therapy uses targeted high-energy x-rays (radiation) to attack the cancer cells in a specific area of the body. These treatments are designed so that they damage the cancer cells, causing those cells to die. while sparing virtually all of the nearby healthy cells. These treatments are usually performed in the doctor's office. However, sometimes radioactive implants are placed inside the body surgically in order to release low doses of radiation over a prolonged period of time.
Surgery is another common form of treatment for prostate cancer. All or part of the prostate can be surgically removed so that the cancer cells are removed along with it.
Often, the surgeon will remove all of the cancerous tissue along with a small portion of non-cancerous tissue surrounding it. This serves to ensure that microscopic traces of cancer cells do not remain inside the body following surgery.
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound
High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a form of treatment that was recently approved as a form of treatment for prostate ablation. This means that this treatment can be used to treat various ailments of the prostate, including cancer.
This treatment uses high-intensity sound waves that are not radioactive to target problematic tissues in the prostate. These sound waves destroying the problematic (cancerous) cells in the prostate.
Now that you know more about the options for your prostate cancer treatment, talk to your oncologist about how to proceed.