When you are thinking of the treatment prostate cancer requires, you may be overwhelmed with the options. Usually, your doctor will go over your options with you so you realize what types of treatment prostate cancer is shown to respond to, as well as what your specific case will require from you. It can be a stressful time, deciding what to do, so it's important that you understand your diagnosis and treatment options so you can make the best decisions for your short term comfort, but also for your long term health and longevity.
Luckily prostate cancer survival rates are quite good. These rates are even better if you have yearly physicals or do not delay in contacting your doctor if you experience any odd symptoms. Having a yearly physical can help your doctor catch the warning signs or symptoms, even before you realize you have any. The earlier prostate cancer is caught, the better the prostate cancer survival rates are. Prevention is key, and being tested yearly or as often as your doctor suggests.
A radical prostatectomy is one type of treatment prostate cancer may require. This is the most drastic treatment of prostate cancer, but it's the one that offers the best survival rates. A radical prostatectomy is a surgery in which the entire prostate gland and even the surrounding lymph nodes are surgically removed from the body. This may seem extreme, but this is the best way to eradicate the disease in a timely manner. You also know when you remove the prostate that other treatment prostate cancer options will not be needed, as the prostate is gone and will not need to be treated again. The success rate with a radical prostatectomy is great and it's the least invasive when you consider recovery time. Two to three days will be spent in the hospital and then you'll be ready to go home and finish a one to two week recovery.
Radiation therapy is a common the treatment prostate cancer specialists often want to go with first. Radiation does not require surgery; instead radiation is put into the body to kill the cancer cells. This is a very time consuming treatment for prostate cancer as you'll have to have radiation treatment five days a week for about seven weeks. As a treatment prostate cancer often responds to the radiation, making it a viable option for men who have smaller tumors that doctors believe can be dealt with without such a radical treatment as removing the prostate altogether. Radiation therapy often shrinks the tumor, but there is no guarantee that the cancer will be gone for good. After ten years with no return of the cancer, the chance for a cancer free life is the same as when you completely remove the prostate as stated above.
The more doctors learn about treatment, prostate cancer does not always require invasive treatment. Doctors are finding that men who have slow growing prostate tumors don't need any action to be taken. The life expectancy of men who have a slow growing tumor is not any different than men who have never had prostate cancer at all, so watching waiting is an option for many men. Why bother with the treatments and pain of it all if you don't have to? If your doctor is willing to try watchful waiting, it might be worth it.
Prostate cancer is a cancer that you can survive and live to tell about. It needn't change your life, but prevention is key. Prostate cancer screenings will allow you to maintain good health, and if you find that you do have prostate cancer you can deal with it in a timely manner so you can be done with it as soon as possible.