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November 9, 2007

Is Radiation Therapy For Prostate Cancer Your Best Option?

The answer to that question is, it depends. Radiation therapy for prostate cancer is definitely a good option, and for some men it is the best option. But it depends.

In a 50-year old man radiation therapy is the best option. In an 80-year old man, it probably isn’t.

Younger men benefit more from radiation therapy for prostate cancer than older men do. Radiation therapy with pellets has the same results as external radiation therapy, and is an excellent option for younger men. The failure rate of radiation therapy for prostate cancer is low when the cancer is diagnosed early, and therapy doesn’t cause a significant interruption in his normal routine. He is usually able to return to work within a few days.

The only chemo available to treat prostate cancer right now is hormone injections that stop testosterone production. Few young men are ready to give up their testosterone if it isn’t absolutely necessary.

The most troubling side effects of prostate cancer treatment are incontinence and impotence. Either can occur with either surgical or radiation treatment for prostate cancer. As long as the cancer hasn’t spread, and it is localized in the prostate, radiation therapy for prostate cancer—especially brachytherapy—is the best option for younger men.

It’s different with older men, though. Most prostate cancer is slow-growing, especially in older men. The cost of treatment, in pain and complications, is higher than the cost of living with cancer. In most older men, the best treatment is “watchful waiting.”

NOTE: This article only reflects the opinion of the writer. It is not intended to be used as medical advice. Your doctor is the best person to help you decide what treatment is best for you. You should always check with him or her about treatment options.

Dean Iggo is the webmaster of a website on
prostrate cancer providing prostate cancer symptoms advice for everything from an enlarged prostate to prostate cancer.

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