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Prostate cancer, the earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. The choice of therapy in the treatment of prostate cancer is determined by the patient's age and tumor advancement. Brachytherapy and radiotherapy are used in older men. The younger the patient is, the more effective classic surgery turns out to be, as it reduces the risk of disease recurrence and metastasis. Prostate cancer can also be treated with hormones.

Prostate cancercan have different causes, andtreatment methodsfor this cancer are also different. How prostate cancer is treated depends on the severity and age of the patient.

Prostate cancer: radiotherapy (brachytherapy and teletherapy)

Brachytherapy involves direct irradiation of lesions by placing the radiation source in the tumor or its immediate vicinity. In commonly used teleradiotherapy (called radiation therapy for short), the source of the radiation is at a distance from the patient. In the case of brachytherapy, the radiotherapist places (temporarily) in the patient's body special applicators through which the radioactive isotope iridium-192 is introduced. The most important advantage of brachytherapy is its precision - thanks to the placement of a radioactive source directly in the vicinity of the tumor (or even inside it), it is possible to significantly increase the dose that hits the neoplastic lesion, while reducing the exposure of he althy organs to radiation.

In the case of brachytherapy, the precision of the procedure is extremely important, it allows to protect the organs critical for the functioning of the body - the urethra, bladder and rectum.

The brachytherapy procedure is performed under general or spinal anesthesia (anesthesia from the waist down), because it requires inserting a dozen or so needles directly into the prostate. Thanks to the needles, the source of irradiation directly enters the neoplastic area of ​​the tumor. The whole process is carried out under constant rectal ultrasound monitoring, and the patient is safely immobilized thanks to a special positioning. The entire procedure takes about 2 hours, but the irradiation itself takes several minutes. After detailed imaging diagnostics, doctors and medical physicists develop a plantreatment, which determines the optimal dose of irradiation and the number of fractions of its application (from one to three). The patient is admitted to the radiotherapy department one day before the surgery and the day after the surgery he is discharged home. The entire procedure takes 3 days.

Side effects of radiotherapy include painful urination, frequent urge to urinate, abnormal colon function (loose stools), and erectile dysfunction.

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Prostate cancer: complete prostate removal

Complete prostate removal, i.e. radical prostatectomy, is performed when the prostate tumor does not exceed the gland capsule. During the operation, the prostate, seminal vesicles and pelvic lymph nodes are removed. The urethra is also fused with the bladder. Three methods of prostatectomy:

  • accessed by a cut in the lower abdomen,
  • cut in the perineum (between the scrotum and rectum)
  • laparoscopic method - small incisions are made in the abdomen through which special operating instruments are inserted

Complications from prostatectomy can include urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

Prostate cancer: when the cancer is very advanced

Cancer infiltrating beyond the prostate and cancer with metastases cannot be cured radically. In the case of the advanced form of the disease, using the hormonal dependence of this tumor (male hormones - androgens stimulate its development), hormone therapy is used to reduce the effect of androgens on the prostate. Other treatments include surgical removal of the testicles or administration of drugs to suppress the production of testosterone by the testicles.

Prostate cancer: hormone therapy

Hormone therapy blocks the production of testosterone, which determines the growth of the tumor, causing some of the cancer cells to die and inhibiting the growth of the tumor.

Prostate cancer: chemotherapy

Chemotherapy in method cancer is treated as a palliative method. It is usually used when hormonal treatment has failed. Its task is to reduce cancer pain and slow down the disease. Chemotherapy has many side effects: vomiting, alopecia, damage to the marrow, kidneys, liver and other organs.

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