This year, more than 300,000 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. In most cases, the cancer consists of small knots of abnormal cells growing slowly in the walnut-sized prostate gland. In many men, the cancer cells grow so slowly that they never break free of the gland, spread to distant sites, and pose a serious risk to health and longevity.
Is prostate cancer slow growing?
Prostate cancer is really a spectrum of disease. On one end of the spectrum is what we call low risk prostate cancer
- relatively slow to grow and progress, and which can often be managed with active surveillance, rather than active treatment.
On the other end of the spectrum is high risk prostate cancer
- which if untreated, is very likely to advance and progress to metastatic disease.
Somewhere between these, of course, is intermediate risk prostate cancer. Whether and how each of these cancers are treated depends on a variety of factors, including
- patient age and health
- the aggressiveness of the cancer
- degree to which the cancer has progressed or spread
- other factors
Evidence is growing that early treatment with surgery or radiation prevents relatively few men from ultimately dying from prostate cancer, while leaving many with urinary or erectile problems and other side effects. As a result, more men may be willing to consider a strategy called active surveillance, in which doctors monitor low-risk cancers closely and consider treatment only when the disease appears to make threatening moves toward growing and spreading.
Prostate Cancer Slow Growing Treatment
The decision of whether to have surgery can be difficult. Talk with your doctors and your family as you consider what treatment is best for you. It is important to consider the following:
- Cancer Stage and Grade. Surgery is best for stages T1 or T2 prostate cancer (cancer confined to the prostate) and sometimes stage T3 prostate cancer (cancer spread outside the prostate).
- Overall Health and Age. Surgery is offered to men healthy enough to handle a major operation and likely to live 10 years or more.
- Personal Wishes. Some men want their cancer completely removed. Others worry about how side effects from their treatment could affect their quality of life.
What are my chances of being cured with surgery? If your cancer is confined to the prostate, the chance of cure with surgery alone at 10 years is more than 90 percent.
Often, chemotherapy is not the primary therapy for prostate cancer patients, but for men with advanced stages of prostate cancer, or whose cancer has metastasized, or spread from the prostate gland to other parts of the body.
In contrast to surgery and radiation therapy that remove, destroy or damage cancer cells in a specific area, chemotherapy is a treatment in which drugs circulate throughout the body in the bloodstream and can kill any rapidly growing cells, including both cancerous and non-cancerous ones. Many chemotherapy drugs are administered directly into a vein through a catheter while others medications may be taken by mouth.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill prostate cancer cells. Treatment is given either externally (outside the body) or internally (inside the body).
Therapy can be a good choice for:
- Men whose prostate cancer is only in their prostate
- Whose prostate cancer has penetrated to organs and tissue near the prostate and who are using hormone therapy
- Prostate cancer has recurred (returned after treatment)
- Advanced prostate cancer, to reduce symptoms caused by their tumor
Prostate cancer cells rely on the male hormone testosterone to help them grow. Hormonal therapy for prostate cancer is a type of drug treatment used to reduce testosterone in the male to very low levels.
Hormonal therapy reduces symptoms and prevents further growth. Reducing testosterone production can be achieved surgically or through the use of medications.
Adult Pediatric Urology in Omaha, NE
Urological Cancers are one of the most common forms of cancer and also one of the most curable types if detected early. The key to detecting and eradicating these forms of cancer are regular screenings. Learn more about the various types of urological cancer.
Clinical Trials in Omaha
Our Clinical Research Department was developed to fulfill our mission to provide high-quality patient centered care. When existing treatments fail or significantly lower your quality of life we seek out new, safe methods that give you more options and make further advancements in the fields of urology and urogynecology.
This overactive bladder clinical research treatment taking place in Omaha is testing new treatment methods. They are being developed by pharmaceutical and bio-technical companies. By volunteering, you may receive new investigational treatments that may help us all understand your condition.
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