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The Latest Treatment For Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in older men, yet seems to be seldom discussed. There have been a number of recent advances in the treatment of this disease. The latest treatments for prostate cancer mean that it is no longer necessary to undergo the trauma of major surgery. Here we discuss the disease and the options for treatment.

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men. Only five percent of patients will die from it, even if it is early stage cancer. It is the malignant cell growth in the prostate gland, located in a man's groin area, and it can cause urinary and ejaculation problems. Surgery, radiation therapy, hormones, and pregnancy, are all forms of treating prostate cancer. By knowing what to expect in advance after being diagnosed with it is the biggest way for a man to treat the emotional problems that also come with it.

The most common cancer in men, prostate cancer usually occurs in men over the age of forty-five. It can be diagnosed by rectal examination during a yearly physical exam. It can cause the prostate to become enlarged, although an enlarged prostate is not an indication that it is cancerous. If the cancer is discovered before it spreads, it is usually curable. If it metastasizes outside the prostate, then other treatments may need to be utilized. Blood tests are very good at confirming the cancer and if it is found, men may be referred to an urologist for more treatment.

What options are available?

The latest treatments on prostate cancer leave men with a variety of choices, especially if he is concerned about sexual function and how far the cancer has spread. In some cases, the complete removal of the gland and radiation therapy is required. Removal offers the highest chances of being completely cured of the cancer. If removal is not desired, then low dose external radiation will be used. This is given to the patient over a course of seven to eight weeks.

Radioactive seed implant is one of the newest therapies in the medical field. Close to one hundred tiny radioactive 'seeds' are placed in the prostate gland and over time the radioactive seeds destroy the cancer cells without affecting the good tissue around it. It is FDA approved and recommended by many doctors today. The seed implant is done using an ultrasound and each seed contains Iodine-25 or Palladium-103 in a tiny metal case.

The seeds remain in the gland even after they have used up all the material. They do not cause any harm remaining in the body and do not cause any long term side effects. This type of therapy allows men to resume their normal daily activities. Common short term side effects include more frequent urination and impotence, both of which can be treated with medication or disappear on their own over time.

One of the other latest treatment on prostate cancer is the 'sit back and wait' concept. Some doctors and patients prefer to wait and see how the cancerous cells progress. In cases where life expectancy is five years or less, this treatment is considered conservative and could save the patient the pain of surgery or other treatments.

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