After receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis, it’s common for patients to take action immediately. For some prostate cancer patients, the disease is slow growing and allows for more time to make an informed treatment decision.
When discussing options with your doctor an important factor is the overall effectiveness of the treatment method in treating the disease. Additional factors to consider include:
- Duration of treatment: Some treatment options may require significant recovery times or treatment may be spread over many weeks, which can interrupt work, or family schedules, making it more difficult to follow normal routines.
- Side effects: Common side effects for some prostate cancer treatments include urinary dysfunction, erectile dysfunction or loss of fertility. Weigh the benefits of the treatment against its potential side effects and how they may affect you in the long term.
- Existing health conditions: If you have existing health conditions like emphysema or high blood pressure, you may be ineligible for certain treatment options because your condition could be worsened by treatment.
- Your age and expected life span: Older men with prostate cancer can sometimes experience more negative than positive effects due to treatment. A study by the University of California- Los Angeles showed that exposing older men to aggressive treatment could cause more debilitating side effects without extending their lifespans.
At Columbus CyberKnife, our physicians work with you to determine which treatment may be best for your specific case. Our center treats patients with a noninvasive, outpatient treatment called stereotactic body radiation therapy. Treatments for prostate cancer take about 30-90 minutes and are completed in five or fewer sessions. For additional information on prostate cancer and support resources, visit the Zero-The End of Prostate Cancer website.
This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.