State-of-the-Art Prostate Cancer Treatment Close to Home

Understanding your prostate cancer treatment options puts you in a position to make an informed decision about what is best for your condition.

  • Active surveillance. Since prostate cancer is such a slow-growing disease, your doctor may choose to wait on treatment and monitor growth periodically.
  • Prostate cancer surgery. Surgery may be used to remove the cancer or to alleviate the symptoms caused by it.
  • Radiation therapy. Radiation is delivered to the site of the cancer to destroy it.
  • Cryotherapy. Also known as cryosurgery, this treatment freezes the cancer cells before they have a chance to spread.
  • Hormone therapy. Also known as androgen deprivation therapy, this treatment aims to lower or block male hormones such as testosterone, which can cause cancer to grow.
  • Chemotherapy. This treatment uses medicines to slow the growth of cancer and reduce symptoms. It is most often used if cancer has stopped responding to hormone treatment.
  • Vaccine therapy. This treatment uses vaccines to boost the immune system and safeguard the body from infections.
  • Bone-directed therapy. Prostate cancer usually spreads to the bones first, causing pain and other symptoms. Different types of medicines can be used to slow cancer growth in the bones and help relieve symptoms.

Active Surveillance

Active surveillance may be recommended for prostate cancer that is growing very slowly and will not likely do any harm for a long time, if ever. It consists of a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test about every 6 months and a digital rectal exam (DRE). If the results of these studies indicate prostate cancer is growing, prostate cancer treatment may be recommended.

Prostate Cancer Surgery

Prostate surgery may be recommended to treat prostate cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body. The main goal of prostate surgery is to cure cancer and prevent it from returning.

Prostatectomy

During a prostatectomy, a surgeon removes the prostate gland and some surrounding tissues and lymph nodes. The procedure may be performed as an open incision or as a minimally invasive procedure.

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)

If cancer cannot be completely removed by a prostatectomy, a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) may be recommended instead. The procedure is usually performed to ease urinary symptoms associated with prostate cancer.

During the procedure, the surgeon inserts a resectoscope, a combined visual and surgical instrument, into the tip of the penis and urethra. The surgeon trims excess and inflamed prostate gland tissues that surround the urethra and block urine flow.

A 1- to 2-day hospital stay is usually necessary. A urinary catheter is placed in the bladder during the hospital stay. Symptom relief occurs quickly, sometimes after only a few days.

Radiation Treatment

Radiation treatment involves delivering high-energy beams to kill prostate cancer. The goal of this treatment is to deliver enough radiation to kill cancer cells while limiting radiation exposure to other parts of the body.

There are two types of radiation prostate cancer treatment: brachytherapy (internal radiation) and external beam radiation.

Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy, or internal radiation, is a treatment in which radioactive sources are placed inside the prostate. Low-dose rate or high-dose rate radiation may be given.

  • With low-dose rate brachytherapy, radiation seeds are placed in the prostate and slowly release low doses of radiation for several months.
  • With high-dose rate brachytherapy, high doses of radiation areas delivered to the prostate through a tube or catheter. Radiation delivery only takes a few minutes. Multiple treatment sessions may be recommended.

The best candidates for brachytherapy are usually men who have good urinary function, a small prostate gland, and minimally-aggressive prostate cancer.

External Beam Radiation

The newest type of external beam radiation is intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). A large machine creates radiation and delivers it to the prostate from outside the body. A beam shaping device, known as a multi-leaf collimator, manipulates beams of radiation to conform to the shape of a tumor, while avoiding healthy organs and tissue. Treatments are usually given 5 days a week for about 8 weeks.

To contact one of New Jersey’s best prostate cancer specialists call
844-CANCERNJ or 844-226-2376.

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