Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Prostate Cancer Treatments

The prostate, a walnut-sized gland in the pelvic area, is a male gland that surrounds the urethra. It is also a source of some of the urinary and other problems that men face after forty. Further, cancer is a serious prostate condition that affects nearly 16% of men in America.

As men advance in age, the risk of developing prostate cancer increases. Genetics and race are factors that have been known to increase the probability of developing the disease. Diet and lifestyle also have an effect on overall prostate health.

There is no single treatment that can suit all cases of prostate cancer. Upon detection, there are a few factors that require careful consideration before any decision is made. These decisions should be based on a deep understanding of the specific condition of the individual and how far the disease has spread through the body.

The first decision that needs to be made is to ensure that there is a regular monitoring that takes place with the help of laboratory blood tests. These tests monitor Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels. A regular Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) may also be required. Close observation helps in monitoring the progress of the cancer so that surgery can be avoided until it is proven necessary. Surgery can be avoided totally in cases where the cancer is localized. Surgery is ruled out in cases where there is a prevalence of heart disease, high blood pressure or uncontrolled diabetes.

There are various prostate cancer treatments:

Prostatectomy is the surgical excision of the prostate gland and the surrounding tissues. It is usually performed in cases where there has been early detection or in cases where the cancer is restricted to the prostate.
Radiation therapy normally does not involve hospitalization. The location of the tumor is determined with the aid of computerized programs. A high dose of radiation is then targeted to destroy the cancer cells within the gland and the surrounding tissues.
Hormone therapy works on the principle that like all cells, cancer cells also need a catalyst to grow. In the case of prostate cancer cells, it is believed that the male hormone testosterone helps in cell multiplication. Hormonal therapy for prostate cancer includes drugs that attempt to deprive this male hormone to the cancerous cells.
Chemotherapy involves the use of a prostate medication that kills or restricts the growth of cancer cells.
Cryotherapy is a literal freezing of the cancer cells in the prostate with the aid of argon gas or liquid nitrogen.
The high level of incidence of prostate disorders is leading to newer treatment options. Emerging therapies that target cancer cell growth, cancer cell spread and strengthening of the immune system are currently awaiting FDA approval. However, in the race to find newer treatment options, it should not be forgotten that diet modification and herbs for halting prostate enlargement can play a significant role in preventing prostate cancer.



blogger templates | Make Money Online