Is Surgery the Only Option for Treating Prostate Cancer?
Contrary to the general assumption that only surgical methods are used to treat prostate cancer, radiotherapy can be safely applied at any stage of the disease. And radiotherapy delivers much more satisfactory results in terms of the patient’s quality of life after treatment. Depending on the use of hormone therapy together with radiotherapy, or whether there is already a loss of function, 60–80% of patients retain sexual function after radiotherapy, while the rate of incontinence is extremely low (1–3%).
The most remarkable development in the treatment of prostate cancer in recent years has been the wider application of stereotactic body radiotherapy and hypofractionated therapy. Traditionally, radiotherapy is administered over a series of sessions. In patients with prostate cancer, treatment continues for about eight weeks over 35–40 sessions. With hypofractionated therapy or SBRT (stereotactic body radiation therapy), fewer sessions are needed and higher doses can be given in each session. What is important here is the more precise targeting of the tumor. Another benefit of this method that is much touted is that it is much less toxic than conventional methods.
Although hypofractionated treatments require sharper targeting, this is possible with newly-developed medical devices. New generation devices enable very precise calculations, targeting the tumor at very high doses. This is beneficial both in terms of shorter therapy times and the high hit rate in the fight against the tumor. This high level of efficiency is achieved through the use of high-level imaging systems designed to verify the location of the tumor before or during the delivery of radiation to the tumor.
If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, do not panic and take rush decisions that dismiss quality of life, no matter what your age. Talk to your urologist and radiation oncologist about your therapy options. Radiation therapies bolstered by new technologies and delivered by skilled professionals can help you maintain your quality of life while controlling the disease, delivering the same results as traditional methods.
Live your best life and look after yourself so that we can look after you.