Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis in men (outside of skin cancer), with more than 190,000 new cases each year. The good news is that more than 3 million men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer are now cancer survivors, in large part due to early detection and treatment.
At our practice, Dr. Robert Cornell is an expert in men’s health, and he and our team have helped many of our patients identify and treat localized prostate cancer with great success.
If you’ve been newly diagnosed with localized prostate cancer, which means cancer cells are only in your prostate and have not spread, here’s a quick review of your treatment options.
Considering your circumstances
In figuring out which treatment option is best for your localized prostate cancer, there’s much you need to consider. The fact is that prostate cancer isn’t terribly aggressive, so if we find a localized problem, you have some time to figure out your next steps, if you choose to take any action at all.
Before making any decision, there are several key points to consider, such as:
If you’re older and we’ve only now discovered your prostate cancer, there’s a good case to be made for taking a watchful approach to the problem. Treating prostate cancer can lead to side effects that can impact your quality of life, so you may want to simply consider the problem a chronic one, and we can monitor it closely for any changes.
Conversely, if you’re younger and we find cancer in your prostate, you may want to take action to avoid larger problems down the road.
If you’re struggling with another health issue and you’re older, you may want to defer prostate cancer treatment in favor of managing a health issue that represents more of a clear-and-present danger, such as heart disease or diabetes.
Ultimately, the decision whether to treat your localized prostate cancer is one that only you can make, but we’re here to counsel you along the way.
Your treatment options
If you’re not comfortable with a wait-and-see approach, you have several treatment options when it comes to localized prostate cancer, which include:
If you want to rid your body of the cancer once and for all, you might want to opt for a prostate surgery, in which we remove all or part of your prostate and your surrounding tissues. There are various surgical approaches, and we can discuss which one is right for your situation.
As with all surgeries, there are some risks with a surgical approach, including collateral damage that may affect your urinary tract and your sexual health.
If you prefer a nonsurgical approach to your localized prostate cancer, we can turn to radiation therapy. There are two main types of radiation therapy, which include external beam radiation and brachytherapy, which is an internal radiation technique.
With hormone therapy, which is called androgen suppression therapy, our goal is to reduce your levels of androgens (male hormones) to prevent your prostate cancer from growing and spreading.
Immunotherapy is a technique that’s used for many cancers, including early-stage prostate cancer. With this approach, we want to boost your immune system so your body fights off the cancer cells.
While there may not be any good news in a prostate cancer diagnosis, if your problem is localized, time and an abundance of treatment options are on your side.
To learn more about treating localized prostate cancer, please contact our office in Houston, Texas, to set up a consultation. We also urge you to read through this comprehensive guide, which may answer many of your questions.