November 8, 2007

Treatment For Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in American men apart from lung cancer. More than 2 million men in the United States suffer from this dreaded disease. However, with the recent advancements in the field of medical research and science, the number of patients succumbing to this disease is gradually going down.

Prostate cancer treatment can be broadly classified into local therapy and systemic therapy. Procedures like surgery and radiation therapy are local treatment options used to control the disease in a particular area inside the body. Hormone therapy using agonists is a systemic treatment option used when the cancer converts into a metastasis and affects various organs.

Surgery involves removal of a part or complete prostate gland, a process known as prostatectomy. Different surgical procedures used include radical retropubic prostatectomy, radical perineal prostatectomy, laproscopy, TURP, cryosurgery and pelvic lymphadenectomy. Surgery is the most common treatment in early stage prostate cancer. Side effects of surgery include impotency, dry orgasms and urinary incontinence.

There are two different types of radiation therapy available for treating prostate cancer. One treatment option uses externally-produced radiation beams to kill cancer cells. Alternatively, there is another procedure known as brachytherapy where radioactive material is implanted into the affected area in the form of small seeds. Radiation coming from the seeds is enough to destroy cancer cells in the vicinity. Side effects of this therapy include diarrhea, problems during urination, dry skin and permanent hair loss.

Hormone therapy involves usage of drugs that block the androgens required for the growth of prostate cancer cells. These drugs are known as agonists. Some important drugs include Lutenizing hormone-releasing hormone agonists like leuprolide and goserelin, anti-androgens like flutamide and nilutamide and drugs like ketoconazole that prevent adrenal gland to synthesize testosterone. Physicians can use these drugs individually or in a combination.

A patient should always consult a specialist and get a second opinion about the diagnosis and treatment procedure before starting the treatment.
About Author:
Pauline Go is a professional writer for many website like She also writes other great articles like Blank Printable Doctors Excuses Sample, Prostate Cancer Survivability Rates At Stage T3c, Cases of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

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