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Risks and Benefits of Common Prostate Cancer Treatments

Path to improved health

Below are the most common prostate cancer treatments. Each treatment type has different benefits, risks, and outlooks. Talk to your doctor about what option is best for you.


Radical prostatectomy may be a 
surgery to get rid of your entire prostate. This includes lymph nodes and seminal vesicles. Surgery typically is an option if your cancer is contained to your prostate and has not spread. The surgeon can remove your prostate through one large incision or laparoscopically. Laparoscopic surgeries are also known as minimally invasive surgeries. They are performed using a laparoscope (a small, thin tube with a camera on the tip that is used to see the inside of your body) through a small number of incisions. These types of surgeries lead to less pain and a quicker recovery time than more invasive surgeries.

Surgery does require a stay in the hospital. Recovery time varies from several weeks to months. Usually, you'll 
return to figure in about 1 month. During recovery, you'll have a catheter to assist you urinate until the cut heals. Most men regain bladder control within a few weeks after surgery.

The success rate for surgery is extremely 
high if all the cancer gets removed. Surgery also provides your doctor with information. They will know the precise size and state of your tumor. However, as with all surgeries, there can be complications. These include blood clots, internal damage, or a reaction to the drugs . After surgery, you'll have bleeding or an infection. There is a chance of erectile dysfunction (impotence) or loss of bladder control.
Men who have surgery to treat prostatic adenocarcinoma are not any longer ready to have children naturally. Your body still creates sperm but doesn't release it. If you would like to possess a baby, ask your doctor about storing sperm before surgery. Treatment can also alter your orgasms and increase your risk of getting a hernia in your groin.

Radiation therapy

Radiation kills cancer cells using high-energy rays. This treatment is an option for both low- and high-grade sorts of 
prostatic adenocarcinoma . It can be done on its own or with surgery. It is also an option if not all cancer gets removed or if your cancer comes back.

There are two types of radiation therapy. External radiation is known as beam therapy. It uses a machine, similar to an X-ray. You get it 5 days a week for 6 to 8 weeks. Each radiation session lasts about 10 minutes. Internal radiation is understood 
as seed therapy, or brachytherapy. It is more intense and only is given 1 time. Seed therapy requires a hospital stay since it involves anesthesia (medicine that puts you to sleep). The increased dose of radiation can cause discomfort.

The success rate for radiotherapy 
is about an equivalent as surgery. Since the prostate and lymph nodes aren't removed, your doctor won’t know the precise size and state of the tumor. Beam therapy has milder side effects than seed therapy. These can include frequent urination or urinary burning or bleeding. Rectal pain, rectal bleeding, and diarrhea are possible during or following treatment. Over time, you might become infertile or have erectile dysfunction.


Chemotherapy kills cancer cells using powerful drugs. It is given through an IV (intravenous) drip. A course of treatment lasts several weeks or months. Chemotherapy often has intense side effects. Most common are nausea, fatigue, and hair loss. It mostly is employed 
by men who have fast-growing or advanced prostatic adenocarcinoma . It can help prolong your life.


Cryotherapy kills cancer cells using cold gases to freeze them. It is an option for men who have early or recurring cancer. It are often 
utilized in combination with other treatment types. The goal of cryotherapy is to eliminate your prostate . This is almost like surgery but is a smaller amount invasive. It destroys your prostate with cold temperatures rather than an incision and removal.

Your doctor will perform a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) to watch 
the method . It does require a stay in the hospital because anesthesia is used. Cryotherapy often is less painful than surgery and has a shorter recovery time. You will have a catheter to help you urinate while you heal. Most men regain control of their bladder and bowels within a few weeks.

The long-term success rate of this treatment is unknown. A wide range of side effects is possible. Mild ones include urinary or rectal bleeding or burning. A swollen scrotum or penis and erectile dysfunction is common.

Hormone therapy

Your doctor might prescribe medicine to lower your level of male hormones, or androgens. Your hormones, including testosterone, can cause prostate tumors to grow or spread. Hormone therapy often is employed 
together with other treatments. It can be done for several months in the form of pills or injections.

Hormone therapy does not cure prostate cancer. It can help shrink your tumor or prevent future growth. It also can control symptoms of prostate cancer. Side effects include fatigue, decreased sex drive, and erectile dysfunction. Osteoporosis (weakened bones) can be a more severe side effect.

Things to consider

It is up to you and your doctor to make a decision 
what treatment options are best. It may be good to urge a second opinion. You should take several factors into consideration, including:


Ø  Grade and stage of cancer.

Ø  Age and lifespan.

Ø  Overall state of health.

Ø  Any medicines you take or other conditions you have.

Ø  Size of your prostate gland (enlarged glands are more sensitive to treatment).

Ø  Lifestyle changes.

Ø  Recovery time.


Notice: Please consult your doctor before following any instruction of

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