Prostate cancer is a common type of cancer, especially affecting men over the age of 50. The prostate is a small gland located under the bladder and in front of the rectum. It produces fluid that nourishes and carries sperm. Treatment for prostate cancer depends on the stage of the cancer, the patient’s general health and other factors such as age and personal preferences. Surgery Surgery is a common treatment for prostate cancer. The most common surgical procedure is radical prostatectomy, which involves removal of the entire prostate gland and some surrounding tissues. This surgery can be performed using open surgery or minimally invasive techniques such as laparoscopic or robotic-assisted surgery. Surgery is usually recommended for early stage prostate cancer. Radiation Therapy Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays or other forms of radiation to kill cancer cells. It can be used alone or in combination with surgery or chemotherapy. External beam radiation therapy is the most common type of radiation treatment for prostate cancer. It delivers radiation to the cancerous area from outside the body. Another type of radiation therapy is brachytherapy, which involves placing radioactive seeds in the prostate gland. Radiation therapy is usually recommended for early-stage prostate cancer or cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate gland. Hormone Therapy Hormone therapy is a treatment that blocks the production or action of male hormones such as testosterone, which can stimulate the growth of prostate cancer cells. Hormone therapy can be done through medication or surgery to remove the testicles, the main source of testosterone. Hormone therapy is often used in combination with radiation therapy for intermediate or high-risk prostate cancer. Chemotherapy Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It may be given alone or in combination with radiation therapy or surgery. Chemotherapy is usually used to treat advanced prostate cancer or when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Immunotherapy Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses the body’s immune system to fight cancer. It is not yet widely used for prostate cancer, but clinical trials are ongoing. Active surveillance Active surveillance, also known as watchful waiting, is a treatment option for men with low-risk prostate cancer. It involves monitoring the cancer with regular check-ups, blood tests and biopsies. Treatment is only given if the cancer shows signs of progression. It is important to discuss all treatment options with your healthcare team to determine the best course of action for your individual situation.
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