Standard Options to Consider
Expectant Management/Active Surveillance also called Watchful Waiting
The term ‘expectant management,’ sometimes called ‘watchful waiting,’ as it relates to prostate cancer has become one of the best known treatment methods. It involves the observation, supervision and monitoring of prostate cancer by various tests. Because prostate cancer often grows very slowly, some men (especially those who are older or have other serious health problems) may never need treatment for their prostate cancer. Instead, their doctors may recommend approaches known as expectant management, watchful waiting, or active surveillance.
The surgical removal of part or all of the prostate and other nearby areas if necessary including lymph nodes. Surgery is performed under general anesthesia with a hospital stay of 2-3 days with catheterization (drains the bladder and allows the bladder to heal to the urethra) for 7 – 10 days or longer as determined by your doctor. Pain is managed in the hospital by administration thru your IV, with oral pain medication when you return home. Insure you discuss the surgery and any concerns you have about surgery with your doctor.
SURGERY: Minimally Invasive Robotic Assisted Surgery (MIRS) also known as “da Vinci Surgery”
With the da Vinci System, surgeons operate through a few small incisions instead of a large open incision – similar to traditional laparoscopy. The da Vinci System features a magnified 3D high-definition vision system and special wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human wrist. da Vinci enables your doctor to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control. As a result of da Vinci technology, da Vinci Prostatectomy offers many potential benefits when compared to traditional open surgery.
Radiation therapy is based on high-energy x-rays which kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. This treatment modality has been used in prostate cancer with varying degrees of success, depending on the type of cancer and its stage. The goal of any radiation protocol is to deliver the right dose of ionizing radiation to the right site, so as to destroy the tumor while protecting the surrounding tissue from high exposures. This will minimize the side-effects and discomfort to the patient while optimizing the tumor kill.
- External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT)
- 3D Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D-CRT)
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy IMRT
A cycle of rapid freeze-thaw of the prostate to destroy cancer cells. Cryotherapy/Cryoablation uses special needles called “cryoprobes” which are placed into the prostate transperineally. This involves a minor surgical procedure, under the guidance of transrectal ultrasound imaging similar to brachytherapy. Once the probes are in place, liquid argon or other ultra-low temperature liquefied gases are injected into the probes to freeze the prostate.
Hormone therapy for prostate cancer is in the form of depriving the prostate cells of the male hormones or androgens they need to thrive. Also called androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), this treatment is aimed at stopping the production of androgens in your body. This causes a slowing or death in the growth of prostate tumor cells.
HIFU offers an alternative to radical prostatectomy or radiation in this group, namely, low-grade tumors in younger men. It may be used more safely than other standard treatments with a lower complication rate, as well as in men who have failed radiation or surgical treatment. It can also be repeated. It is ideal for those men who cannot undergo surgery for any reason.
Complementary and Alternative Therapies (CAM)
Complementary and Alternative Therapies (CAM) are non–drug therapies that can be used in conjunction with the therapy option you choose or instead of a treatment option with your doctor’s consent. Some of these therapies have been known to help relieve common discomforts, help relieve stress, remove tension and improve your quality of life. They include and are not limited to: aromatherapy, art therapy, music therapy, reflexology, Reiki, acupuncture, acupressure and Mind and Body Practices such as massage, meditation, relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation, Tai chi, qi gong, yoga, healing touch and hypnotherapy.