What Are the Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer?
There are many options available for prostate cancer treatment in India which might be used at different times depending on the cancer stage and current health state of the patient.
- Watchful Waiting or Active Surveillance - In many cases, prostate cancer grows slowly, and therefore, immediate medical intervention may not be required. Watchful waiting or active surveillance approach is applicable for low grade prostate cancers. It means that the cancer is monitored closed by keeping a tab on the changing symptoms and doing regular testing to decide the need for further treatment.
- Surgery - – If cancer has not spread outside the prostate gland, radical prostatectomy is performed, in which a surgeon removes the entire prostate gland along with the tissues around it. Such surgery can be carried out by laparoscopic approach or by robotic approach leading to less patient discomfort and faster recovery.
- Radiation Therapy - Radiation uses high-energy x-rays, gamma rays or particles to destroy cancer cells. Radiation therapy can be divided into external beam radiation and brachytherapy (internal radiation). In external radiation therapy, high-energy x-ray beams are directed at a tumour from outside the body. In case of internal radiation, prostate cancer doctor in India will place a radioactive source directly inside or near the tumour.
- Hormone Therapy - This therapy is used for reducing the level of male hormones (androgens) as well as restrain them from affecting the prostate cancer cells. It is also called Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) and Androgen Suppression Therapy. Lower androgen levels lead to shrinkage in the size of the prostate cancer and restrict their growth.
- Chemotherapy - In this the drugs are given by injection in the vein or orally to kill cancer cells and reduce tumor size. This approach is finding increasing use in prostate cancer, especially high grade.
- Vaccination - Sipuleucel-T (Provenge) is a cancer vaccination given to boost the body’s immunity system to attack the prostate cancer cells. This vaccine is specifically made for every patient with the help of their white blood cells.
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Life after Prostate Cancer Treatment
Just as prostate cancer treatment affects physically, it also affects the way the patient thinks and feels. While, a patient will be happy to know that it is the end of the treatment, deep inside there will be a fear of its recurrence. Just as it is essential to take care of the body after the treatment, it is essential to take care of the emotions too. It is the time to take care of the mental health, and the following tips would help:
- Share your feelings with your loved ones
- Eat a balanced diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Add any physical activities, like yoga, exercise, etc., to your daily routine
- Vent out both your positive and negative emotions
- Keep yourself busy in those activities which can take your mind off your fears
- Rest well
Follow Up Care After Prostate Cancer Treatment
You may expect the worst when it’s time for your next follow-up appointments after prostate cancer treatment. However, don’t let that feeling stop you from going. Make use of the time to discuss your current health state and ask questions about any signs or symptoms that worry you. Your doctor may also conduct some tests to get a better idea of your current health state. Ask about your fear of recurrence and what signs to watch for. Follow-up appointments help you know more about your health which will undoubtedly give better control over the situation.
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