Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in males over the age of 50. And, if it is caught early on, it can easily be treated. Depending on the stage of cancer it is, your oncologist may recommend a variety of treatments including prostate removal or focal therapy. As one of the more difficult decisions you will make in your life, it may seem overwhelming to decide which treatment is best for you. This article will hopefully help you gain some clarity and insight into each of these options and help you land on a decision that is best for you. Read on to learn more.
Depending on how severe or invasive your cancer is, there really may be no point in removing your entire prostate. Before landing on a decision, we encourage our patients to consider a few of the following things:
- Family History: Do you have a family history of prostate cancer? Did it results in the death of a loved one?
- Gleason Score: Do you have a Gleason score of 8 or higher? If so, this is an indication that your cancer is more aggressive.
- Race: If you are African American, you are more likely to not only get prostate cancer, but you are at a higher risk of it taking on an aggressive form.
As a relatively new form of prostate treatment, focal therapy is something that not many people are familiar with but that we here at UTMB Radiology specialize in. With focal therapy, only a portion of the prostate will be removed and then typically followed up with some radiation. By heating up and cooling the tumor, focal therapy causes the tumor to die eventually. Because only part of the gland is removed, there is a substantially lowered risk of incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Additionally, it is done as an outpatient treatment which means that you will be able to go back to work the next day.
If you or your loved one were recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, you might feel like your world has been turned upside down. However, with the help of the experts here at UTMB Radiology and your radiologist, you will be able to land on a decision that makes sense for you, your type of cancer, and your life. To learn more about prostate cancer treatments or to schedule an appointment, contact UTMB Radiology today!