Treating Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is one of the most common diseases that affect men’s health.  It is estimated that one in every seven men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis during his lifetime.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you most likely have questions about available treatment options.

Before recommending a course of treatment, your doctor will need to determine the stage or severity of the disease.  This can be concluded by using imaging technology to assess how aggressive the cancer might be.  Some of the testing methods utilized by physicians include:

  • multiparametric MRI
  • enhanced MRI
  • positron-emission tomography (PET)

Once the stage of the prostate cancer has been determined, your doctor will recommend the best treatment option. Treatment is unique to each individual and may include a combination of therapies and medication management.

Depending on the severity of your case, treatment may include:

  • Active Surveillance- This is where your doctor will monitor your cancer closely. Surveillance typically includes conducting blood tests and digital rectal exams every six months, observing changes in symptoms and possibly administering prostate biopsies each year.
  • Surgery- One of the most common options used to treat prostate cancer is surgery. Surgery is usually considered when cancer has not spread outside the prostate gland. A radical prostatectomy is the operation that your doctor may perform. It involves removing the entire prostate gland as well as surrounding tissue.
  • Radiation Therapy- Is often used to treat cancers that have grown outside the prostate gland and have spread to nearby tissues. High levels of radiation are used to kill cancer cells or to keep them from growing.
  • Hormone Therapy- Also known as androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) or androgen suppression therapy,  is an option a physician may explore when cancer has spread too far to be treated with surgery or radiation therapy.  The goal of hormone therapy is to reduce the amount of male hormones (androgens) that are produced.   This helps delay the progression of prostate cancer.
  • Chemotherapy- If hormone therapy is not working; your doctor may consider chemotherapy as a form of treatment. During chemotherapy, a combination of cancer–fighting drugs is administered by mouth or intravenously.  This form of treatment is best used to shrink or eliminate cancer cells that have spread outside the prostate gland into other parts of the body.

Making treatment decisions can be challenging.  Your first step in making a decision is to learn about your options. As an informed patient, you will be able to help your doctor to make a care plan that is best for you.

To schedule an appointment with a urologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7110.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.