Prostate Cancer Treatment
Many prostate cancer patients are evaluated through an interdisciplinary clinic. This means the team of doctors responsible for your care will visit with you on the same day, often in the same clinic. The team may include surgeons, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists. These doctors review your case and recommend your best treatment options. There are a variety of treatment options available for prostate cancer. Some of these options are briefly described below.
Surgery may be performed to remove the prostate. Your urologist will discuss in more detail with you the risks and benefits of this treatment option.
Prostate cancer can also be treated with either external beam radiation therapy or brachytherapy. External beam radiation therapy is usually given over a course of 8 weeks. Patients are treated daily, Monday through Friday. It is often planned using either a 3D conformal or an intensity modulated (IMRT) technique. The prostate can move from day-to-day depending on the amount of urine or stool present. Prior to treatment, an ultrasound of the prostate is obtained to determine where the prostate is located that day. If the prostate has moved, appropriate adjustments are made prior to that day’s treatment to accommodate for those movements.
Brachytherapy is another form of radiation therapy. It is delivered by implanting radioactive iodine-125 seeds into the prostate gland. One advantage of this type of treatment is that it is completed within one day. It usually requires general anesthesia and a short operation, however. Typically patients are in the hospital for several hours after the procedure, but most patients are discharged home by the end of the day. Brachytherapy is reserved for patients with low to intermediate risk disease, and your radiation oncologist and urologist will inform you if you’re a good candidate for this form of therapy.
Hormone therapy is often used in conjunction with radiation therapy for patients who have either intermediate or high risk prostate cancer. Often it is given for two to three years. Some patients may need to remain on the hormonal therapy longer, however. Either you urologist or radiation oncologist can discuss the side effects and benefits of this form of treatment.
More information on prostate cancer and its treatments through the Holden Cancer Center's Cancer Information Service.
|For further information or to schedule an appointment, please call 319-356-2253.