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November 8, 2007

Understanding 5 Popular Prostate Cancer Treatment Options

The best course of action to take with respect to prostate cancer treatment options depends upon your immediate state of health. There are several factors to take into consideration, such as your general state of health, your age, the amount of cancer cells present, the stage of cancer, as well as any preferences you may have.

When detected in its early stages, prostate cancer is treated rather easily and your chances of survival are extremely high. The slow development of the disease allows many patients the time to fully understand the many different kinds of prostate cancer treatment options before making a choice.

There are three main paths to curing prostate cancer. Some simple definitions of these paths are included below.

Observation

Nicknamed "watchful waiting," this approach consists of regular tests and checkups in order to monitor the cancer when detected in the early stages. This treatment is usually chosen by men in their 70s and 80s, since they often prefer avoiding the side effects that accompany surgery and radiation treatments.

Surgery

The surgery that removes the prostate gland and the cancer is called a prostatectomy. Some lymph nodes may be removed during this procedure as well. In order to avoid damaging any nerves that help you achieve an erection, be sure to work with a surgeon who is experienced with this kind of procedure.

Radiation

Radiation treatment uses strong rays of energy to kill any cancerous cells. Although the treatment itself may only last for a minute or two, you will usually need to receive five treatments per week for around four to eight weeks. Radiation is administered both internally and externally. For external radiation therapy, a large radiation machine is used. Internal treatment occurs by injecting radioactive seeds with a needle into the prostate. Be aware that radiation treatment also runs the risk of nerve damage.

Additional Treatment Methods

On some cancer patients in the early stage, the prostate gland is subjected to a freezing process that kills any cancerous cells. This option, called cryosurgery, uses probes that are inserted into the prostate gland. The probes contain a very cold gas that freezes any damaged tissue. Cryosurgery can be rather convenient as it can be administered on an outpatient basis. However, only a very few number of people have undergone this treatment, so it is too early to determine how effective it truly is.

Ongoing Treatment

Even after you finish with a treatment option, you should still continue to observed by your physician. Get checkups regularly, which will include detailed follow ups on the status of your cancer. You should expect PSA tests, biopsies, urinalyses, and physical exams.

To calm any fear or anxiety you may have as a result of prostate cancer diagnosis, be sure to research all the different treatment options available to you, along with any potential side effects. Some people find radiation to be too rough on the body, and others may choose surgery over chemical treatments. In the end, the best treatment option is one that matches your personal preferences and current state of health, and is well planned out.

Are you looking for information about prostate cancer treatment options? For more important information on prostate cancer, the prostate gland, and prostate cancer treatments and prevention, please visit http://www.onlineprostatehealth.com/ for more information.

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