The earliest attempts at treatment in prostate cancer history were essentially designed to remove urinary obstruction through surgery. It was tried in the 1890’s to remove the testes in the treatment of prostate cancer; however these attempts met with little success. A more successful treatment was the removal of the entire prostate gland, known as radical perineal prostatectomy, first developed in 1904. However this could lead to problems in penile function, and so other treatments continued to be sought after.
At the turn of the twentieth century one of the treatments developed not only for prostate cancer but cancer in general was that of radiation therapy. Ideas of using radiation to treat cancers began to develop with the discovery of x-rays in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen. Early on Rontgen saw potential in using these x-rays as a powerful tool in the treatment of cancer.
Radiation treatment continued to develop thanks to the work of Marie Curie, with her discovery of the radioactive elements of polonium and radium. Radium implants were used in the early 20th century to treat prostate cancer, and is the first form of radiation treatment used in prostate cancer history.
Another important development in the world of prostate cancer history came from Canadian scientist Charles B. Huggins in 1941. He discovered that the estrogen could be used to control the testosterone naturally present in men and in fact control the growth of the prostate cancer. It was the first time that it was realized hormones could be used to control the growth of some cancers and Huggins won the Nobel Prize for his discovery in 1966.
This led to development of other hormone treatments for prostate cancer and other hormone-treatable cancers. Two of the most common hormone treatments used today are leuprolide and goserelin; these developments began in the late 1970’s with the discovery of the growth hormone GnRH by Andrzej W. Schally and Roger Guillemin, who both won the Nobel Prize for their own work in 1977. At the same time, the various methods of radiation therapy and chemotherapy continued to develop as well.
Throughout prostate cancer history many methods of treatment have been developed. If you have prostate cancer, the methods of treatment depend heavily on the severity of your cancer and the stage of the cancer you are currently in. A doctor will be able to best determine which treatment is right for you.
One of the keys in treating prostate cancer or any cancer is early detection. If you have a long family prostate cancer history, you are at higher risk for developing prostate cancer. The likelihood of developing prostate cancer also increases with age, particularly after you reach 50 years of age. Regular check-ups are very important in order to detect prostate cancer early and thus increase chances of successful treatment.